Skip to main content

Full text of "Analysis of the sexual impulse, love and pain, the sexual impulse in women"

See other formats



Cornell University Library 
HQ 21.E47A1913 

Analysis of the sexual impulse, love and 

3 1924 013 991 678 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



Psychology of Sex 




Philadelphia, Pa., U. S. A. 

PreBS of F. A. Davis Company 

1914-16 Cherry Street 


This volume has been thoroughly revised for the present 
edition and considerably enlarged throughout, in order to render 
it more accurate and more illustrative, while bringing it fairly 
up to date with reference to scientific investigation. Numerous 
histories have also been added to the Appendix. 

It has not been found necessary to modify the main doctrines 
set forth ten years ago. At the same time, however, it may be 
mentioned, as regards the first study in the volume, that our 
knowledge of the physiological mechanism of the sexual instinct 
has been revolutionized during recent years. This is due to 
the investigations that have been made, and the deductions that 
have been built up, concerning the part played by hormones, or 
internal secretions of the ductless glands, in the physical pro- 
duction of the sexual instinct and the secondary sexual characters. 
The conception of the psychology of the sexual impulse here set 
forth, while correlated to terms of a physical process of tumes- 
cence and detumescence, may be said to be independent of the 
ultimate physiological origins of that process. But we cannot 
fail to realize the bearing of physiological chemistry in this field ; 
and the doctrine of internal secretions, since it may throw 
light on many complex problems presented by the sexual instinct, 
is full of interest for us. 

Havelock Ellis. 

June, 1913. 



The present volume of Studies deals with some of the 
most essential problems of sexual psychology. The Analysis 
of the Sexual Impulse is fundamental. Unless we comprehend 
the exact process which is being worked out beneath the shift- 
ing and multifold phenomena presented to us we can never 
hope to grasp in their true relations any of the normal or ab- 
normal manifestations of this instinct. I do not claim that the 
conception of the process here stated is novel or original. In- 
deed, even since I began to work it out some years ago, various 
investigators in these fields, especially in Germany, have de- 
prived it of any novelty it might otherwise have possessed, 
while at the same time aiding me in reaching a more precise 
statement. This is to me a cause of satisfaction. On so funda- 
mental a matter I should have been sorry to find myself tending 
to a peculiar and individual standpoint. It is a source of grati- 
fication to me that the positions I have reached are those toward 
which current intelligent and scientific opinions are tending. 
Any originality in my study of this problem can only lie in 
the bringing together of elements from somewhat diverse fields. 
I shall be content if it is found that I have attained a fairly 
balanced, general, and judicial statement of these main factors 
in the sexual instinct. 

In the study of Love and Pain I have discussed the sources 
of those aberrations which are commonly called, not altogether 
happily, "sadism" and "masochism." Here we are brought 
before the most extreme and perhaps the most widely known 
group of sexual perversions. I have considered them from 
the medico-legal standpoint, because that has already been 
done by other writers whose works are accessible. I have pre- 
ferred to show how these aberrations may be explained ; how 


they may be linked on to normal and fundamental aspects of 
the sexual impulse; and, indeed, in their elementary forms, 
may themselves be regarded as normal. In some degree they 
are present, in every case, at some point of sexual development ; 
their threads are subtly woven in and out of the whole psycho- 
logical process of sex. I have made no attempt to reduce their 
complexity to a simplicity that would be fallacious. I hope 
that my attempt to unravel these long and tangled threads will 
be found to make them fairly clear. 

In the^ third study, on The Sexual Impulse in Women, we 
approach a practical question of applied sexual psychology, and 
a question of the first importance. No doubt the sex impulse 
in men is of great moment from the social point of view. It 
is, however, fairly obvious and well understood. The impulse 
in women is not only of at least equal moment, but it is far 
more obscure. The natural difficulties of the subject have been 
increased by the assumption of most writers who have touched 
it — casually and hurriedly, for the most part — that the only 
differences to be sought in the sexual impulse in man and in 
woman are quantitative differences. I have pointed out that 
we may more profitably seek for qualitative differences, and 
have endeavored to indicate such of these differences as seem 
to be of significance. 

In an Appendix will be found a selection of histories of 
more or less normal sexual development. Histories of gross 
sexual perversion have often been presented in books devoted 
to the sexual instinct; it has not hitherto been usual to in- 
quire into the facts of normal sexual development. Yet it is 
concerning normal sexual development that our ignorance is 
greatest, and the innovation can scarcely need justification. 
I have inserted these histories not only because many of them 
are highly instructive in themselves, but also because they ex- 
hibit the nature of the material on which my work is mainly 

I am indebted to many correspondents, medical and other, 
in various parts of the world, for much valuable assistance. 


When they have permitted me to do so I have usually mentioned 
their names in the text. This has not been possible in the 
case of many women friends and correspondents, to whom, how- 
ever, my debt is very great. Nature has put upon women the 
greater part of the burden of sexual reproduction; they have 
consequently become the supreme authorities on all matters in 
which the sexual emotions come into question. Many circum- 
stances, however, that are fairly obvious, conspire to make it 
difficult for women to assert publicly the wisdom and knowl- 
edge which, in matters of love, the experiences of life have 
brought to them. The ladies who, in all earnestness and sin- 
cerity, write books on these questions are often the last people 
to whom we should go as the representatives of their sex ; those 
who know most have written least. I can therefore but express 
again, as in previous volumes I have expressed before, my deep 
gratitude to these anonymous collaborators who have aided 
me in throwing light on a field of human life which is of such 
primary social importance and is yet so dimly visible. 

Havelock Ellis. 

Carbis Water, 
Lelant, Cornwall, England, 


Analysis of the Sexual Impulse. 

Definition of Instinct — The Sexual Impulse a, Factor of the Sexual 
Instinct — Theory of the Sexual Impulse as an Impulse of Evac- 
uation — The Evidence in Support of this Theory Inadequate — 
The Sexual Impulse to Some Extent Independent of the Sexual 
Ulands — The Sexual Impulse in Castrated Animals and Men — 
The Sexual Impulse in Castrated Women, After the Menopause, 
and in the Congenital Absence of the Sexual Glands — The In- 
ternal Secretions — Analogy between the Sexual Relationship 
and that of the Suckling Mother and her Child — The Theory of 
the Sexual Impulse as a Reproductive Impulse — This Theory 
Untenable — Moll's Definition — The Impulse of Detumescenee 
• — The Impulse of Contrectation — Modification of this Theory 
Proposed — Its Relation to Darwin's Sexual Selection — The 
Essential Element in Darwin's Conception — Summary of the 
History of the Doctrine of Sexual Selection. Its Psychological 
Aspect — Sexual Selection a Part of Natural Selection — The 
Fundamental Importance of Tumescence — Illustrated by the 
Phenomena of Courtship in Animals and in Man — The Object of 
Courtship is to Produce Sexual Tumescence — The Primitive 
Significance of Dancing in Animals and Man — Dancing is a 
Potent Agent for Producing Tumescence — The Element of Truth 
in the Comparison of the Sexual Impulse with an Evacuation, 
Especially of the Bladder — Both Essentially Involve Nervous 
Explosions — Their Intimate and Sometimes Vicarious Relation- 
ships — Analogy between Coitus and Epilepsy — Analogy of the 
Sexual Impulse to Hunger — Final Object of the Impulses of 
Tumescence and Detumescenee 1 

Love and Pain. 


The Chief Key to the Relationship between Love and Pain to be 
Found in Animal Courtship — Courtship a Source of Combat- 
ivity and of Cruelty — Human Play in the Light of Animal 
Courtship — The Frequency of Crimes Against the Person in 




Adolescence — Marriage by Capture and its Psychological Basis 
— Man's Pleasure in Exerting Force and Woman's Pleasure in 
Experiencing it — Resemblance of Love to Pain even in Outward 
Expression — The Love-bite — In What Sense Pain May be 
Pleasurable — The Natural Contradiction in the Emotional At- 
titude of Women Toward Men — Relative Insensibility to Pain 
of the Organic Sexual Sphere in Women — The Significance of 
the Use of the Ampallang and Similar Appliances in Coitus — 
The Sexual Subjection of Women to Men in Part Explain- 
able as the Necessary Condition for Sexual Pleasure 66 


The Definition of Sadism — De Sade — Masochism to some Extent 
Normal — Sacher-Masoch — No Real Line of Demarcation be- 
tween Sadism and Masochism — Algolagnia Includes Both Groups 
of Manifestations — The Love-bite as a Bridge from Normal 
Phenomena to Algolagnia — The Fascination of Blood — The 
Most Extreme Perversions are Linked on to Normal Phenom- 
ena 104 

J II. 

Flagellation as a Typical Illustration of Algolagnia. Causes of Con- 
nection between Sexual Emotion and Whipping — Physical 
Causes — Psychic Causes Probably More Important — The Varied 
Emotional Associations of Whipping — Its Wide Prevalence .... 129 


The Impulse to Strangle the Object of Sexual Desire — The Wish 
to be Strangled. Respiratory Disturbance the Essential Ele- 
ment in this Group of Phenomena — The Part Played by Respi- 
ratory Excitement in the Process of Courtship— Swinging and 
Suspension — The Attraction Exerted by the Idea of being 
Chained and Fettered 



Pain, and not Cruelty, the Essential Element in Sadism and Ma- 
sochism—Pain Felt as Pleasure— Does the Sadist Identify 



Himself with the Feelings of his Victim? — The Sadist Often a 
Masochist in Disguise — The Spectacle of Pain or Struggle as 
a Sexual Stimulant 159 


Why is Pain a Sexual Stimulant? — It is the Most Effective Method 
of Arousing Emotion — Anger and Fear the Most Powerful Emo- 
tions — Their Biological Significance in Courtship — Their Gen- 
eral and Special Effects in Stimulating the Organism — -The 
Physiological Mechanism of Fatigue Renders Pain Pleasuarble. 171 


Summary of Results Reached — The Joy of Emotional Expansion — 
The Satisfaction of the Craving for Power — The Influence of 
Neurasthenic and Neuropathic Conditions — The Problem of 
Pain in Love Largely Constitutes a Special Case of Erotic Sym- 
bolism 184 

The Sexual Impulse in Women. 
Introduction 189 

The Primitive View of Women — As a Supernatural Element in Life 
— As Peculiarly Embodying the Sexual Instinct — The Modern 
Tendency to Underestimate the Sexual Impulse in Women — 
This Tendency Confined to Recent Times — Sexual Anaesthesia — 
Its Prevalence — Difficulties in Investigating the Subject — Some 
Attempts to Investigate it — Sexual Anaesthesia Must be Re- 
garded as Abnormal — The Tendency to Spontaneous Manifesta- 
tions of the Sexual Impulse in Young Girls at Puberty 192 


Special Characters of the Sexual Impulse in Women — The More 
Passive Part Played by Women in Courtship — This Passivity 
Only Apparent — The Physical Mechanism of the Sexual Process 
in Women More Complex — The Slower Development of Orgasm 



in Women — The Sexual Impulse in Women More Frequently 
Needs to be Actively Aroused— The Climax of Sexual Energy 
Falls Later in Women's Lives than in Mien's — Sexual Ardor in 
Women Increased After the Establishment of Sexual Relation- 
ships — Women Bear Sexual Excesses Better than Men — The 
Sexual Sphere Larger and More Diffused in Women — The 
Sexual Impulse in Women Shows a Greater Tendency to Peri- 
odicity and a Wider Range of Variation 228 


Summary of Conclusions 256 

The Sexual Instinct in Savages 259 

The Development of the Sexual Instinct 277 

Index op Authors 343 

Index of Subjects 349 


Definition of Instinct — The Sexual Impulse a Factor of the Sexual 
Instinct — Theory of the Sexual Impulse as an Impulse of Evacuation — 
The Evidence in Support of this Theory Inadequate — The Sexual Impulse 
to Some Extent Independent of the Sexual Glands — The Sexual Impulse 
in Castrated Animals and Men — The Sexual Impulse in Castrated 
Women, after the Menopause, and in the Congenital Absence of the 
Sexual Glands — The Internal Secretions — Analogy between the Sexual 
Relationship and that of the Suckling Mother and her Child — The 
Theory of the Sexual Impulse as a Reproductive Impulse — This Theory 
Untenable — Moll's Definition — The Impulse of Detumescence — The Im- 
pulse of Contrectation — Modification of this Theory Proposed — Its 
Relation to Darwin's Sexual Selection — The Essential Element in Dar- 
win's Conception — Summary of the History of the Doctrine of Sexual 
Selection — Its Psychological Aspect — Sexual Selection a Part of Natural 
Selection— The Fundamental Importance of Tumescence — Illustrated by 
the Phenomena of Courtship in Animals and in Man — The Object of 
Courtship is to Produce Sexual Tumescence — The Primitive Significance 
of Dancing in Animals and Man — Dancing is a Potent Agent for Pro- 
ducing Tumescence — The Element of Truth in the Comparison of the 
Sexual Impulse with an Evacuation, Especially of the Bladder — Botn 
Essentially Involve Nervous Explosions — Their Intimate and Some- 
times Vicarious Relationships — Analogy between Coitus and Epilepsy — 
Analogy of the Sexual Impulse to Hunger — Final Object of the Impulses 
of Tumescence and Detumescence. 

The term "sexual instinct" may be said to cover the whole 
of the neuropsychic phenomena of reproduction which man 
shares with the lower animals. It is true that much discussion 
has taken place concerning the proper use of the term "instinct/' 
and some definitions of instinctive action would appear to 
exclude the essential mechanism of the process whereby sexual 
reproduction is assured. Such definitions scarcely seem legiti- 
mate, and are certainly unfortunate. Herbert Spencer's defi- 
nition of instinct as "compound reflex action" is sufficiently 
clear and definite for ordinary use. 



A fairly satisfactory definition of instinct is that supplied by Dr. 
and Mrs. Peckham in the course of their study On the Instincts mid 
Habits of Solitary Wasps. "Under the term 'instinct/ " they say, "we 
place all complex acts which are performed previous to experience and 
in a similar manner by all members of the same sex and race, leaving 
out as non-essential, at this time, the question of whether they are or 
are not accompanied by consciousness." This definition is quoted with 
approval by Lloyd Morgan, who modifies and further elaborates it 
{Animal Behavior, 1900, p. 21). "The distinction between instinctive 
and reflex behavior/' he remarks, "turns in large degree on their relative 
complexity," and instinctive behavior, he concludes, may be said to com- 
prise "those complex groups of co-ordinated acts which are, on their first 
occurrence, independent of experience; which tend to the well-being of 
the individual and the preservation of the race; which are due to the 
co-operation of external and internal stimuli; which are similarly per- 
formed by all the members of the same more or less restricted group of 
animals; but which are subject to variation, and to subsequent modifica- 
tion under the guidance of experience." Such a definition clearly justi- 
fies us in speaking of a "sexual instinct." It may be added that the 
various questions involved in the definition of the sexual instinct have 
been fully discussed by Moll in the early sections of his Untersuchimgen 
uber die Libido BexyMis. 

Of recent years there has been a tendency to avoid the use of the 
term "instinct," or, at all events, to refrain from attaching any serious 
scientific sense to it. Loeb's influence has especially given force to 
this tendency. Thus, while Pieron, in an interesting discussion of the 
question ("Les Problemes Actuels de l'lnstinet," Revue Philosophique, 
Oct., 1908), thinks it would still be convenient to retain the term, 
giving it a philosophical meaning, Georges Bohn, who devotes a chap- 
ter to the notion of instinct (La NaAssance de V Intelligence, 1909), is 
strongly in favor of eliminating the word, as being merely a legacy of 
medieval theologians and metaphysicians, serving to conceal our igno- 
rance or our lack of exact analysis. 

It may be said that the whole of the task undertaken in these 
Studies is really an attempt to analyze what is commonly called 
the sexual instinct. In order to grasp it we have to break it up 
into its component parts. Lloyd Morgan has pointed out that 
the components of an instinct may be regarded as four: first 
the internal messages giving rise to the impulse; secondly, the 
external stimuli which co-operate with the impulse to affect the 
nervous centers ; thirdly, the active response due to the co-ordinate 


outgoing discharges ; and, fourthly, the message from the organs 
concerned in the behavior by which the central nervous system is 
further affected. 1 

In dealing with the sexual instinct the first two factors 
are those which we have most fully to discuss. With the ex- 
ternal stimuli we shall be concerned in a future volume (IV). 
We may here confine ourselves mainly to the first factor: the 
nature of the internal messages which prompt the sexual act. 
We may, in other words, attempt to analyze the sexual impulse. 

The first definition of the sexual impulse we meet with 
is that which regards it as an impulse of evacuation. The 
psychological element is thus reduced to a minimum. It is 
true that, especially in early life, the emotions caused by forced 
repression of the excretions are frequently massive or acute 
in the highest degree, and the joy of relief correspondingly 
great. But in adult life, on most occasions, these desires can 
be largely pushed into the background of consciousness, partly 
by training, partly by the fact that involuntary muscular activ- 
ity is less imperative in adult life; so that the ideal element 
in connection with the ordinary excretions is almost a negligible 
quantity. The evacuation theory of the sexual instinct is, how- 
ever, that which has most popular vogue, and the cynic delights 
to express it in crude language. It is the view that appeals to 
the criminal mind, and in the slang of French criminals the 
brothel is le cloaque. It was also the view implicitly accepted 
by medieval ascetic writers, who regarded woman as "a temple 
built over a sewer," and from a very different standpoint it was 
concisely set forth by Montaigne, who has doubtless contributed 
greatly to support this view of the matter: "I find," he said, 
"that Venus, after all, is nothing more than the pleasure of 
discharging our vessels, just as nature renders pleasurable the 
discharges from other parts." 2 Luther, again, always compared 
the sexual to the excretory impulse, and said that marriage was 

1 C. Lloyd Morgan, "Instinct and Intelligence in Animals," Nature, 
February 3, 1898. 

2 Essais, livre iii, ch. v. 


just as necessary as the emission of urine. Sir Thomas More, 
also, in the second book of Utopia, referring to the pleasure of 
evacuation, speaks of that felt "when we do our natural easement, 
or when we be doing the act of generation." This view would, 
however, scarcely deserve serious consideration if various dis- 
tinguished investigators, among whom Fere may be specially 
mentioned, had not accepted it as the best and most accurate 
definition of the sexual impulse. "The genesic need may be 
considered," writes Fere, "as a need of evacuation ; the choice is 
determined by the excitations which render the evacuation more 
agreeable." 1 Certain facts observed in the lower animals tend 
to support this view ; it is, therefore, necessary, in the first place, 
to' set forth the main results of observation on this matter. 
Spallanzani had shown how the male frog during coitus will 
undergo the most horrible mutilations, even decapitation, and yet 
resolutely continue the act of intercourse, which lasts from four 
to ten days, sitting on the back of the female and firmly clasping 
her with his forelegs. Goltz confirmed Spallanzani's observations 
and threw new light on the mechanism of the sexual instinct 
and the sexual act in the frog. By removing various parts of 
the female frog Goltz found that every part of the female was 
attractive to the male at pairing time, and that he was not 
imposed on when parts of a male were substituted. By removing 
various of the sense-organs of the male Goltz 2 further found 
that it was not by any special organ, but by the whole of his 
sensitive system, that this activity was set in action. If, how- 
ever, the skin of the arms and of the breast between was removed, 
no embrace took place; so that the sexual sensations seemed to 

i Fere, "La Predisposition dans l'etiologie des perversions sex- 
uelles," Revue de midecine, 1898. In his more recent work on the 
evolution and dissolution of the sexual instinct Fere perhaps slightly- 
modified his position by stating that "the sexual appetite is, above all, 
a general need of the organism based on a sensation of fullness a sort 
of need of evacuation," L'Jnstinct sexuel, 1899, p. 6. Lowenfeld (TJeber 
die Sexuelle Konstitution, p. 30) gives a qualified acceptance to the 
excretory theory, as also Eohleder {Die Zeugung leim Menschen, p. 25). 

2 Goltz, Centralblatt fiir die m,ed. Wissenschaften, 1865 No 19 
and 1866 No. 18; also Beitrage zur Lehre von den Funktionen des 
Frosches, Berlin, 1869, p. 20. 


be exerted through this apparatus. When the testicles were 
removed the embrace still took place. It could scarcely be said 
that these observations demonstrated, or in any way indicated, 
that the sexual impulse is dependent on the need of evacuation. 
Professor Tarchanoff, of St. Petersburg, however, made an ex- 
periment which seemed to be crucial. He took several hundred 
frogs (Bana temporaria) , nearly all in the act of coitus, and in 
the first place repeated Goltz's experiments. He removed the 
heart ; but this led to no direct or indirect stoppage of coitus, nor 
did removal of the lungs, parts of the liver, the spleen, the 
intestines, the stomach, or the kidneys. In the same way even 
careful removal of both testicles had no result. But on removing 
the seminal receptacles coitus was immediately or very shortly 
stopped, and not renewed. Thus, Tarchanoff concluded that in 
frogs, and possibly therefore in mammals, the seminal receptacles 
are the starting-point of the centripetal impulse which by reflex 
action sets in motion the complicated apparatus of sexual 
activity. 1 A few years later the question was again taken up by 
Steinach, of Prague. Granting that Tarchanoff's experiments 
are reliable as regards the frog, Steinach points out that we may 
still ask whether in mammals the integrity of the seminal 
receptacles is bound up with the preservation of sexual excita- 
bility. This cannot be taken for granted, nor can we assume 
that the seminal receptacles of the frog are homologous with the 
seminal vesicles of mammals. In order to test the question, 
Steinach chose the white rat, as possessing large seminal vesicles 
and a very developed sexual impulse. He found that removal of 
the seminal sacs led to no decrease in the intensity of the sexual 
impulse; the sexual act was still repeated with the same fre- 
quency and the same vigor. But these receptacles, Steinach 
proceeded to argue, do not really contain semen, but a special 
secretion of their own; they are anatomically quite unlike the 
seminal receptacles of the frog; so that no doubt is thus thrown 
on Tarchanoff's observations. Steinach remarked, however, that 

l J. Tarchanoff, "Zur Physiologie des Geschlechtsapparatus des 
Frosches," Archiv fur die Gesammte Physiologie, 1887, vol. xl, p. 330. 


one's faith is rather shaken by the fact that in the EscuUnta, 
which in sexual life closely resembles Bana temporaria, there 
are no seminal receptacles. He therefore repeated Tarchanoff's 
experiments, and found that the seminal receptacles were empty 
before coitus, only becoming gradually filled during coitus; it 
could not, therefore, be argued that the sexual impulse started 
from the receptacles. He then extirpated the seminal receptacles, 
avoiding hemorrhage as far as possible, and found that, in the 
majority of cases so operated on, coitus still continued for from 
five to seven days, and in the minority for a longer time. He 
therefore concluded, with G-oltz, that it is from the swollen 
testicles, not from the seminal receptacles, that the impulse first 
starts. Goltz himself pointed out that the fact that the removal 
of the testicles did not stop coitus by no means proves that it 
did not begin it, for, when the central nervous mechanism is 
once set in action,, it can continue even when the exciting stimu- 
lus is removed. By extirpating the testicles some months before 
the sexual season he found that no coitus occurred. At the 
same time, even in these frogs, a certain degree of sexual in- 
clination and a certain excitability of the embracing center still 
persisted, disappearing when the sexual epoch was over. 

According to most recent writers, the seminal vesicles of 
mammals are receptacles for their own albuminous secretion, the 
function of which is unknown. Steinach could find no sperma- 
tozoa in these "seminal" sacs, and therefore he proposed to use 
Owen's name of glandules vesicularcs. After extirpation of these 
vesicular glands in the white rat typical coitus occurred. But 
the capacity for procreation was diminished, and extirpation of 
both glandulo? vesiculares and glandulce prostatic® led to dis- 
appearance of the capacity for procreation. Steinach came to 
the conclusion that this is because the secretions of these glands 
impart increased vitality to the spermatozoa, and he points out 
that great fertility and high development of the accessory sexual 
glands go together. 

Steinach found that, when sexually mature white rats were 
castrated, though at first they remained as potent as ever, their 


potency gradually declined; sexual excitement, however, and 
sexual inclination always persisted. He then proceeded to cas- 
trate rats before puberty and discovered the highly significant 
fact that in these also a quite considerable degree of sexual 
inclination appeared. They followed, sniffed, and licked the 
females like ordinary males; and that this was not a mere in- 
dication of curiosity was shown by the fact that they made 
attempts at coitus which only differed from those of normal 
males by the failure of erection and ejaculation, though, occa- 
sionally, there was imperfect erection. This lasted for a year, 
and then their sexual inclinations began to decline-, and they 
showed signs of premature age. These manifestations of sexual 
sense Steinach compares to those noted in the human species 
during childhood. 1 

The genesic tendencies are thus, to a certain degree, in- 
dependent of the generative glands, although the development 
of these glands serves to increase the genesic ability and to 
furnish the impulsion necessary to assure procreation, as well 
as to insure the development of the secondary sexual characters, 
probably by the influence of secretions elaborated and thrown 
into the system from the primary sexual glands. 2 

Halban ("Die Entstehung der Geschlechtscharaktere," Archiv fur 
Gyniilcologie, 1903, pp. 205-308) argues that the primary sex glands do 
not necessarily produce the secondary sex characters, nor inhibit the 
development of those characteristic of the opposite sex. It is indeed the 
rule, but it is not the inevitable result. Sexual differences exist from 
the first. Nussbaum made experiments on frogs (Rana fusca), which 
go through a yearly cycle of secondary sexual changes at the period of 
heat.- These changes cease on castration, but, if the testes of other 
frogs are introduced beneath the skin of the castrated frogs, Nussbaum 
found that they acted as if the frog had not been castrated. It is the 
secretion of the testes which produces the secondary sexual changes. 

1 E. Steinach, "Untersuehungen zur vergleichenden Physiologie der 
mannlieher Geschlechtsorgane insbesondere der accessorischen Gesch- 
lechtsdrusen," Archiv filr die Gesammte Physiologie, vol. lvi, 1894, pp. 
304-338. , 

2 See, e.g., Shattock and Seligmann, "The Acquirement of Second- 
ary Sexual Characters," Proceedings of the Royal Society, vol. lxxiii, 
1904, p. 49. 


But Nussbaum found that the testicular secretion does not work if the 
nerves of the secondary sexual region are cut, and that the secretion 
has no direct action on the organism. Pfliiger, discussing these experi- 
ments (Archiv fur die Gesamtnte Physiologic, 1907, vol. cxvi, parts 5 
and 6), disputes this conclusion, and argues that the secretion is not 
dependent on the action of the nervous system, and that therefore the 
secondary sexual characters are independent of the nervous system. 

Steinaeh has also in later experiments ( "Geschlechtstrieb und 
edit Sekundare Geschlechtsmerkmale als Folge der innerskretorischen 
Funktion der Keimdrusen," Zentralblatt fur Physiologie, Bd. xxiv, Nu. 
13, 1910) argued against any local nervous influence. He found in 
Rana fusca and esculenta that after castration in autumn the impulse 
to grasp the female persisted in some degrees and then disappeared, 
reappearing in a slight degree, however, every winter at the normal 
period of sexual activity. But when the testicular substance of actively 
sexual frogs was injected into the castrated frogs it exerted an elective 
action on the sexual reflex, sometimes in » few hours, but the action 
is, Steinaeh concludes, first central. The testicular secretion of frogs 
that were not sexually active had no stimulating action, but if the 
frogs were sexually active the injection of their central nervous sub- 
stance was as effective as their testicular substance. In either case, 
Steinaeh concludes, there is the removal of an inhibition which is in 
operation at sexually quiescent periods. 

Speaking generally, Steinaeh considers that there is a process of 
"erotisation" (Erotisieurung) of the nervous center under the influence 
of the internal testicular secretions, and that this persists even when 
the primary physical stimulus has been removed. 

The experience of veterinary surgeons also shows that the 
sexual impulse tends to persist in animals after castration. 
Thus the ox and the gelding make frequent efforts to copulate 
with females in heat. In some cases, at all events in the case of 
the horse, castrated animals remain potent, and are even abnor- 
mally ardent, although impregnation cannot, of course, result. 1 

The results obtained by scientific experiment and veter- 
inary experience on the lower animals are confirmed by ob- 
servation of various groups of phenomena in the human species. 

t»- ," i, F °L fa . cts bearing on this point, see Guinard, art. "Castration," 
Pachets Dictiommire de Physiologic The general results of castration 
are summarized by Robert Mailer in eh. vii of his Sexualbiologie ; also 
by F. H. A. Marshall, The Physiology of Reproduction, eh ix- see also 
E. Pittard, "Les Skoptzy," L' Anthropologic, 1903, p. 463. 


There can be no doubt that castrated men may still possess 
sexual impulses. This has been noted by observers in various 
countries in which eunuchs are made and employed. 1 

It is important to remember that there are different degrees of 
castration, for in current language these are seldom distinguished. The 
Romans recognized four different degrees: 1. True castrati, from whom 
both the testicles and the penis had been removed. 2. Spadones, from 
whom the testicles only had been removed; this was the most common 
practice. 3. Thlibice, in whom the testicles had not been removed, but 
destroyed by crushing; this practice is referred to by Hippocrates. 4. 
Thlasiw, in whom the spermatic cord had simply been cut. Millant, 
from whose Paris thesis {Castration Criminelle et Maniaque, 1902) I 
take these definitions, points out that it was recognized that spadones 
remained apt for coitus if the operation was performed after puberty, a. 
fact appreciated by many Roman ladies, ad securas libidinationes, as St. 
Jerome remarked, while Martial (lib. iv) said of a, Roman lady who 
sought eunuchs: "Yult futui Gallia, non parere." (See also Millant, 
Les Eunuques a Trovers les Ages, 1909, and articles by Lipa Bey and 
Zambaco, Sexual-Probleme, Oct. and Dec, 1911.) 

In China, Matignon, formerly physician to the French 
legation in Pekin, tells us that eunuchs are by no means without 
sexual feeling, that they seek the company of women and, he 
believes, gratify their sexual desires by such methods as are left 
open to them, for the sexual organs are entirely removed. It 
would seem probable that, the earlier the age at which the 
operation is performed, the less marked are the sexual desires, 
for Matignon mentions that boys castrated before the age of 
10 are regarded by the Chinese as peculiarly virginal and 
pure. 2 At Constantinople, where the eunuchs are of negro race, 
castration is usually complete and performed before puberty, 
in order to abolish sexual potency and desire as far as possible. 
Even when castration is effected in infancy, sexual desire is not 
necessarily rendered impossible. Thus Marie has recorded the 
case of an insane Egyptian eunuch whose penis and scrotum were 

i For an ancient discussion of this point, see Schurig, Sperma- 
tologia, 1720, cap. ix. 

2 J. J. Matignon, Superstition, Crime, et Misere en Chine, "Les 
Eunuques du Palais Imperial de Pekin," 1901. 


removed in infancy; yet, he had frequent and intense sexual 
desire with ejaculation of mucus and believed that an invisible 
princess touched him and aroused voluptuous sensations. Al- 
though the body had a feminine appearance, the prostate was 
normal and the vesiculse seminales not atrophied. 1 It may be 
added that Lancaster 2 quotes the following remark, made by a 
resident for many years in the land, concerning Nubian eunuchs : 
"As far as I can judge, sex feeling exists unmodified by absence 
of the sexual organs. The eunuch differs from the man not in 
the absence of sexual passion, but only in the fact that he 
cannot fully gratify it. As far as he can approach a gratification 
of it he does so." In this connection it may be noted that (as 
quoted by Moll) Jager attributes the preference of some women — 
noted in ancient Eome and in the East — for castrated men as 
due not only to the freedom from risk of impregnation in such 
intercourse, but also to the longer duration of erection in the 

When castration is performed without removal of the penis 
it is said that potency remains for at least ten years afterward, 
and Disselhorst, who in his Die accessorischm Geschlechtsdriisen 
der Wirbelthiere takes the same view as has been here adopted, 
mentions that, according to Pelikan (Das Shopzentum in Buss- 
land), those castrated at puberty are fit for coitus long after- 
ward. When castration is performed for surgical reasons at a 
later age it is still less likely to affect potency or to change the 
sexual feelings. 3 Guinard concludes that the sexual impulse 
after castration is relatively more persistent in man than in the 
lower animals, and is sometimes even heightened, being prob- 
ably more dependent on external stimuli. 4 

Except in the East, castration is more often performed on 
women than on men, and then the evidence as to the influence 

1 P. Marie, "Eunuehisme et Erotisme," Novvellc Iconographie de 
la Salpetrieie, 1900, No. 5, and Progrcs medical, Jan. 26, 1907. 

2 Pedagogical Seminary, July, 1897, p. 121. 

„, .. S Se ?:J° V ^stance, the case reported in 'another volume of these 
Studies ( Sexual Inversion"), in which castration was performed on 
a, sexual invert without effecting any change. 

4 Guinard, art. "Castration," Dictionnaire de Physiologic 


of the removal of the ovaries on the sexual emotions shows 
varying results. It has been found that after castration sexual 
desire and sexual pleasure in coitus may either remain the same, 
be diminished or extinguished, or be increased. By some the 
diminution has been attributed to autosuggestion, the woman 
being convinced that she can no longer be like other women; 
the augmentation of desire and pleasure has been supposed to 
be due to the removal of the dread of impregnation. We have, 
of course, to take into account individual peculiarities, method 
of life, and the state of the health. 

In France Jayle ("Effets physiologiques de la Castration chez la 
Femme," Revue de Gynicologie, 1897, pp. 403-57) found that, among 33 
patients in whom ovariotomy had been performed, in 18 sexual desire 
remained the same, in 3 it was diminished, in 8 abolished, in 3 increased; 
while pleasure in coitus remained the same in 17, was diminished in 1, 
abolished in 4, and increased in 5, in 6 cases sexual intercourse was 
very painful. In two other groups of cases — one in which both ovaries 
and uterus were removed and another in which the uterus alone was 
removed — the results were not notably different. 

In Germany Glaveke (Archiv fiir Gynakologie, Bd. xxxv, 1889) 
found that desire remained in 6 cases, was diminished in 10, and disap- 
peared in 11, while pleasure in intercourse remained in 8, was diminished 
in 10, and was lost in 8. Pfister, again (Archiv fiir Gynakologie, Bd. 
lvi, 1898), examined this point in 99 castrated women; he remarks that 
sexual desire and sexual pleasure in intercourse were usually associated, 
and found the former unchanged in 19 cases, decreased in 24, lost in 
35, never present in 21, while the latter was unchanged in 18 cases and 
diminished or lost in 60. Keppler (International Medical Congress, 
Berlin, 1890) found that among 46 castrated women sexual feeling was 
in no case abolished. Adler also, who discusses this question [Die 
Mangelhafte Geschlcchtsempfindung des Weibes, 1904, p. 75 et seq.), 
criticises Gliiveke's statements and concludes that there is no strict 
relation between the sexual organs and the sexual feelings. Kiseh, 
who has known several cases in which the feelings remained the same 
as before the operation, brings together (The Sexual Life of Women) 
varying opinions of numerous authors regarding the effects of removal 
of the ovaries on the sexual appetite. 

In America Bloom (as quoted in Medical Standard, 1896, p. 121) 
found that in none of the cases of women investigated, in which oopho- 
rectomy had been performed before the age of 33, was the sexual 
appetite entirely lost ; in most of them it had not materially diminished 


and in a. few it was intensified. There was, however, a general con- 
sensus of opinion that the normal vaginal secretion during coitus was 
greatly lessened. In the cases of women over 33, including also hyster- 
ectomies, a gradual lessening of sexual feeling and desire was found to 
occur most generally. Dr. Isabel Davenport records 2 cases (reported 
in Medical Standard, 1895, p. 346) of women between 30 and 35 years 
of age whose erotic tendencies were extreme; the ovaries and tubes 
were removed, in one case for disease, in the other with a view of re- 
moving the sexual tendencies; in neither case was there any change. 
Lapthorn Smith {Medical Record, vol. xlviii) has reported the case 
of an unmarried woman of 24 whose ovaries and tubes had been re- 
moved seven years previously for pain and enlargement, and the periods 
had disappeared for six years; she had had experience of sexual inter- 
course, and declared that she had never felt such extreme sexual excite- 
ment and pleasure as during coitus at the end of this time. 

In England Lawson Tait and Bantock [British Medical Journal, 
October 14, 1899, p. 975) have noted that sexual passion seems some- 
times to be increased even after the removal of ovaries, tubes, and 
uterus. Lawson Tait also stated (British Gynaecological Journal, Feb., 
1887, p. 534) that after systematic and extensive inquiry he had not 
found a single instance in which, provided that sexual appetite existed 
before the removal of the appendages, it was abolished by that opera- 
tion. A Medical Inquiry Committee appointed by the Liverpool Medi- 
cal Institute (ibid., p. 617) had previously reported that a considerable 
number of patients stated that they had suffered a distinct loss of sex- 
ual feeling. Lawson Tait, however, throws doubts on the reliability of 
the Committee's results, which were based on the statements of unin- 
telligent hospital patients. 

I may quote the following remarks from a communication sent to 
me by an experienced physician in Australia : "No rule can be laid down 
in cases in which both ovaries have been extirpated. Some women say 
that, though formerly passionate, they have since become quite indif- 
ferent, but I am of opinion that the majority of women who have had 
prior sexual experience retain desire and gratification in an equal degree 
to that they had before operation. I know one case in which a young 
girl hardly 19 years old, who had been accustomed to congress for 
some twelve months, had trouble which necessitated the removal of the 
ovaries and tubes on both sides. Far from losing all her desire or 
gratification, both were very materially increased in intensity. Men- 
struation has entirely ceased, without loss of femininity in either dis- 
position or appearance. During intercourse, I am told, there is con- 
tinuous spasmodic contraction of various parts of the vagina and vulva." 


The independence of the sexual impulse from the disten- 
tion of the sexual glands is further indicated by the great fre- 
quency with which sexual sensations, in a faint or even strong 
degree, are experienced in childhood and sometimes in infancy, 
and by the fact that they often persist in women long after 
the sexual glands have ceased their functions. 

In the study of auto-erotism in another volume of these Studies I 
have brought together some of the evidence showing that even in very 
young children spontaneous self-induced sexual excitement, with orgasm, 
may occur. Indeed, from an early age sexual differences pervade the 
whole nervous tissue. I may here quote the remarks of an experienced 
gynecologist: "I venture to think," Braxton Hicks said many years 
ago, "that those who have much attended to children will agree with me 
in saying that, almost from the cradle, a difference can be seen in 
manner, habits of mind, and in illness, requiring variations in their 
treatment. The change is certainly hastened and intensified at the 
time of puberty; but there is, even to an average observer, a clear differ- 
ence between the sexes from early infancy, gradually becoming more 
marked up to puberty. That sexual feelings exist [it would be better 
to say 'may exist'] from earliest infancy is well known, and therefore 
this function does not depend upon puberty, though intensified by it. 
Hence, may we not conclude that the progress toward development is 
not so abrupt as has been generally supposed? . . . The changes 
of puberty are all of them dependent on the primordial force which, 
gradually gathering in power, culminates in the perfection both of form 
and of the sexual system, primary and secondary." 

There appear to have been but few systematic observations on the 
persistence of the sexual impulse in women after the menopause. It is 
regarded as a fairly frequent phenomenon by Kisch, and also by Lowen- 
feld (Sexualleben und Nervenleiden, p. 29). In America, Bloom (as 
quoted in Medical Standard, 1896), from an investigation of four hun- 
dred cases, found that in some cases the sexual impulse persisted to a 
very advanced age, and mentions a case of a woman of 70, twenty years 
past the menopause, who had been long a widow, but had recently 
married, and who declared that both desire and gratification were as 
great, if not greater, than before the menopause. 

Keference may finally be made to those cases in which 
the sexual impulse has developed notwithstanding the absence, 
verified or probable, of any sexual glands at all. In such cases 
sexual desire and sexual gratification are sometimes even stronger 


than normal. Colman has reported a case in which neither 
oTaries .nor uterus could be detected, and the vagina was too 
small for coitus, but pleasurable intercourse took place by the 
rectum and sexual desire was at times so strong as to amount 
almost to nymphomania. Clara Barrus has reported the case 
of a woman in whom there was congenital absence of uterus 
and ovaries, as proved subsequently by autopsy, but the sexual 
impulse was very strong and she had had illicit intercourse with 
a lover. She suffered from recurrent mania, and then mastur- 
bated shamelessly; when sane she was attractively feminine. 
Macnaughton-Jones describes the case of a woman of 32 with 
normal sexual feelings and fully developed breasts, clitoris, and 
labia, but no vagina or internal genitalia could be detected even 
under the most thorough examination. In a case of Bridgman's, 
again, the womb and ovaries were absent, and the vagina small, 
but coitus was not painful, and the voluptuous sensations were 
complete and sexual passion was strong. In a case of Cotterill's, 
the ovaries and uterus were of minute size and functionless, and 
the vagina was absent, but the sexual feelings were normal, and 
the clitoris preserved its usual sensibility. Munde had recorded 
two similar cases, of which he presents photographs. In all these 
cases not only was the sexual impulse present in full degree, 
but the subjects were feminine in disposition and of normal 
womanly conformation ; in most cases the external sexual organs 
were properly developed. 1 

Fere (L'Instinct sexuel, p. 241) has sought to explain away some 
of these phenomena, in so far as they may be brought against the theory 
that the secretions and excretions of the sexual glands are the sole 
source of the sexual impulse. The persistence of sexual feelings after 
castration may be due, he argues, to the presence of the nerves in the 
cicatrices, just as the amputated have the illusion that the missing 
limb is still there. Exactly the same explanation has since been put 

1M. A. Colman, Medical Standard, August, 1895; Clara Barrus, 
American Journal of Insanity, April, 1895; Maenaughton- Jones, Brit- 
ish Gynaecological Journal, August, 1902; W. G. Bridgman, Medical 
Standard, 1896; J. M. Cotterill, British Medical Journal, April 7, 1900 
(also private communication) ; Paul F. Mundg, American Journal of 
Obstetrics, March, 1899. 


forward by Moll, Medizindsche KKnik, 1905, Nrs. 12 and 13. In the 
same way the presence of sexual feelings after the menopause may be 
due to similar irritation determined by degeneration during involution 
of the glands. The precocious appearance of the sexual impulse in 
childhood he would explain as due to an anomaly of development in the 
sexual organs. Fere makes no attempt to explain the presence of the 
sexual impulse in the congenital absence of the sexual glands; here, 
however, Munde intervenes with the suggestion that it is possible that 
in most cases "an infinitesimal trace of ovary" may exist, and preserve 
femininity, though insufficient to produce ovulation or menstruation. 

It is proper to mention these ingenious arguments. They are, 
however, purely hypothetical, obviously invented to support a theory. 
It can scarcely be said that they carry conviction. We may rather 
agree with Guinard that so great is the importance of reproduction that 
nature has multiplied the means by which preparation is made for the 
conjunction of the sexes and the roads by which sexual excitation may 
arrive. As Hirschfeld puts it, in a discussion of this subject (Sexual- 
Probleme, Feb., 1912), "Nature has several irons in the fire." 

It will be seen that the conclusions we have reached indirectly 
involve the assumption that the spinal nervous centers, through which 
the sexual mechanism operates, are not sufficient to account for the 
whole of the phenomena of the sexual impulse. The nervous circuit 
tends to involve a cerebral element, which may sometimes be of domi- 
nant importance. Various investigators, from the time of Gall onward, 
have attempted to localize the sexual instinct centrally. Such attempts, 
however, cannot be said to have succeeded, although they tend to show 
that there is a real connection between the brain and the generative 
organs. Thus Ceni, of Modena, by experiments on chickens, claims to 
have proved the influence of the cortical centers of procreation on the 
faculty of generation, for he found that lesions of the cortex led to 
sterility corresponding in degree to the lesion; but as these results 
followed even independently of any disturbance of the sexual instinct, 
their significance is not altogether clear (Carlo Ceni, "V Influenza dei 
Centri Corticali sui Fenomeni della Generazione," Revista Sperimentale 
di Freniatria, 1907, fasc. 2-3). At present, as Obiei and Marchesini 
have well remarked, all that we can do is to assume the existence of 
cerebral as well as spinal sexual centers; a cerebral sexual center, in 
the strictest sense, remains purely hypothetical. 

Although Gall's attempt to locate the sexual instinct in the cere- 
bellum — well supported as it was by observations — is no longer con- 
sidered to be tenable, his discussion of the sexual instinct was of great 
value, far in advance of his time, and accompanied by » mass of facts 
gathered from many fields. He maintained that the sexual instinct is 


a function of the brain, not of the sexual organs. He combated the 
view ruling in his day that the seat of erotic mania must be sought in 
the sexual organs. He fully dealt with the development of the sexual 
instinct in many children before maturity of the sexual glands, the pro- 
longation of the instinct into old age, its existence in the castrated and 
in the congenital absence of the sexual glands; he pointed out that even 
with an apparently sound and normal sexual apparatus all sorts of 
psychic pathological deviations may yet occur. In fact, all the lines 
of argument I have briefly indicated in the foregoing pages — although 
when they were first written this fact was unknown to me — had been 
fully discussed by this remarkable man nearly a century ago. (The 
greater part of the third volume of Gall's Sur les Fonctions du Oerveau, 
in the edition of 1825, is devoted to this subject. For a good summary, 
sympathetic, though critical, of Gall's views on this matter, see Mobius, 
"Ueber Gall's Speeielle Organologie," Schmidt's Jahrbiicher der Medicin, 
1900, vol. cclxvii; also Ausgewahlte Werke, vol. vii.) 

It will be seen that the question of the nature of the sexual 
impulse has been slowly transformed. It is no longer a question 
of the formation of semen in the male, of the function of men- 
struation in the female. It has become largely a question of 
physiological chemistry. The chief parts in the drama of sex, 
alike on its psychic as on its physical sides, are thus supposed to 
be played by two mysterious protagonists, the hormones, or 
internal secretions, of the testes and of the ovary. Even the 
part played by the brain is now often regarded as chemical, the 
brain being considered to be a great chemical laboratory. There 
is a tendency, moreover, to extend the sexual sphere so as to 
admit the influence of internal secretions from other glands. 
The thymus, the adrenals, the thyroid, the pituitary, even the 
kidneys: it is possible that internal secretions from all these 
glands may combine to fill in the complete picture of sexuality 
as we know it in men and women. 1 The subject is, however, 

i See Swale Vincent, Internal Secretion and the Ductless Glands, 
1912; F. H. A. Marshall, The Physiology of Reproduction, 1910, ch. ix; 
Munzer, Berliner kUnische Woehenschrift, Nov., 1910- C Saious The 
Internal Secretions, vol. i, 1911. The adrenal glands have been fully and 
into reS i t 1 ! n !L y s< :" di , ed J > y Glynn, Quarterly Journal of Medicine, Jan., 
1912; the thyroid, by Ewan Waller, Practitioner, Aug., 1912; the internal 
secretion of the ovary, by A. Louise Mcllroy, Proceedings Royal Society 
Medicine .July 1912. For a discussion at the Neurology Section of the 
British Medical Association Meeting, 1912, see British Medical Journal, 


so complex and at present so little known that it would be 
hazardous, and for the present purpose it is needless, to attempt 
to set forth any conclusions. 

It is sufficiently clear that there is on the surface a striking 
analogy between sexual desire and the impulse to evacuate an 
excretion, and that this analogy is not only seen in the frog, but 
extends also to the highest vertebrates. It is quite another 
matter, however, to assert that the sexual impulse can be ade- 
quately defined as an impulse to evacuate. To show fully the 
inadequate nature of this conception would require a detailed 
consideration of the facts of sexual life. That is, however, un- 
necessary. It is enough to point out certain considerations 
which alone suffice to invalidate this view. In the first place, it 
must be remarked that the trifling amount of fluid emitted in 
sexual intercourse is altogether out of proportion to the emotions 
aroused by the act and to its after-effect on the organism; the 
ancient dictum omne animal post coitum triste may not be 
exact, but it is certain that the effect of coitus on the organism is 
far more profound than that produced by the far more extensive 
evacuation of the bladder or bowels. Again, this definition 
leaves unexplained all those elaborate preliminaries which, both 
in man and the lower animals, precede the sexual act, pre- 
liminaries which in civilized human beings sometimes themselves 
constitute a partial satisfaction to the sexual impulse. It must 
also be observed that, unlike the ordinary excretions, this dis- 
charge of the sexual glands is not always, or in every person, 
necessary at all. Moreover, the theory of evacuation at once 
becomes hopelessly inadequate when we apply it to women; no 
one will venture to claim that an adequate psychological ex- 
planation of the sexual impulse in a woman is to be found in 
the desire to expel a little bland mucus from the minute glands 
of the genital tract. We must undoubtedly reject this view of 
the sexual impulse. It has a certain element of truth and it 
permits an instructive and helpful analogy ; but that is all. The 
sexual act presents many characters which are absent in an 
ordinary act of evacuation, and, on the other hand, it lacks the 


special characteristic of the evacuation proper, the elimination 
of waste material ; the seminal fluid is not a waste material, and 
its retention is, to some extent perhaps, rather an advantage 
than a disadvantage to the organism. 

Eduard von Hartmann long since remarked that the satis- 
faction of what we call the sexual instinct through an act carried 
out with a person of the opposite sex is a very wonderful 
phenomenon. It cannot be said, however, that the conception 
of the sexual act as a simple process of evacuation does any- 
thing to explain the wonder. We are, at most, in the same posi- 
tion as regards the stilling of normal sexual desire as we should 
be as regards the emptying of the bladder, supposing it were 
very difficult for either sex to effect this satisfactorily without 
the aid of a portion of the body of a person of the other sex 
acting as a catheter. In such a case our thoughts and ideals 
would center around persons of opposite sex, and we should 
court their attention and help precisely as we do now in the case 
of our sexual needs. Some such relationship does actually exist 
in the case of the suckling mother and her infant. The mother 
is indebted to the child for the pleasurable relief of her dis- 
tended breasts; and, while in civilization more subtle pleasures 
and intelligent reflection render this massive physical satisfac- 
tion comparatively unessential to the act of suckling, in more 
primitive conditions and among animals the need of this pleas- 
urable physical satisfaction is a Teal bond between the mother 
and her offspring. The analogy is indeed very close: the 
erectile nipple corresponds to the erectile penis, the eager watery- 
mouth of the infant to the moist and throbbing vagina, the vitally 
albuminous milk to the vitally albuminous semen. 1 The com- 

, rJJ^ 11 !: 6 ^H was written l hav e come across a passage in Hampa 
(p. 228), by Rafael Salillas, the Spanish sociologist, which shows that 
the analogy has been detected by the popular mind and been embodied in 
popular language: A significant anatomico-physiological concordance 
supposes a resemblance between the mouth and the sexual organs of a 
woman between coitus and the ingestion of food, and betwien foods 
winch do not require mastication and the spermatic ejaculation; these 
representations find expression in the popular name papo given to 
women ; b genital organs. 'Papo' is the crop of birds, and is derived from 
papar (Latin, pupare) , to eat soft food such as we call pap With 


plete mutual satisfaction, physical and psychic, of mother and 
child, in the transfer from one to the other of a precious or- 
ganized fluid, is the one time physiological analogy to the rela- 
tionship of a man and a woman at the climax of the sexual act. 
Even this close analogy, however, fails to cover all the facts of 
the sexual life. 

A very different view is presented to us in the definition 
of the sexual instinct as a reproductive impulse, a desire for 
offspring. Hegar, Eulenburg, Nacke, and LSwenfeld have ac- 
cepted this as, at all events, a partial definition. 1 No one, in- 
deed, would argue that it is a complete definition, although a 
few writers appear to have asserted that it is so sometimes as 
regards the sexual impulse in women. There is, however, con- 
siderable mental confusion in the attempt to set up such a 
definition. If we define an instinct as an action adapted to an 
end which is not present to consciousness, then it is quite true 
that the sexual instinct is an instinct of reproduction. But 
we do not adequately define the sexual instinct by merely 
stating its ultimate object. We might as well say that the im- 
pulse by which young animals seize food is "an instinct of 
nutrition." The object of reproduction certainly constitutes no 
part of the sexual impulse whatever in any animal apart from 
man, and it reveals a lack of the most elementary sense of bio- 
logical continuity to assert that in man so fundamental and 
involuntary a process can suddenly be revolutionized. That 

this representation of infantile food is connected the term leche [milk] 
as applied to the ejaculated genital fluid." Cleland, it may be added, 
in the most remarkable of English erotic novels, The Memoirs of 
Fanny Hill, refers to "the compressive exsuction with which the sensi- 
tive mechanism of that part [the vagina] thirstily draws and drains the 
nipple of Love," and proceeds to "compare it to the action of the child 
at the breast. It appears that, in some parts of the animal world at 
least, there is a real analogy of formation between the oral and vaginal 
ends of the trunk. This is notably the case in some insects, and the 
point has been elaborately discussed by Walter Wesehg, "The Genitalia 
of Both the Sexes in Diptera, and their Relation to the Armature of the 
Mouth," Transactions of the Linnean Society, second series, vol. ix, 
Zoology, 1906. 

i Niicke now expresses himself very dubiously on the point; see, 
e.g., Archiv fur Kriminal-Anthropologie, 1905, p. 186. 


the sexual impulse is very often associated with a strong desire 
for offspring there can be no doubt, and in women the longing 
for a child— that is to say, the longing to fulfill those functions 
for which their bodies are constituted — may become so urgent 
and imperative that we may regard it as scarcely less imperative 
than the sexual impulse. But it is not the sexual impulse, 
though intimately associated with it, and though it explains it. 
A reproductive instinct might be found in parthenogenetic 
animals, but would be meaningless, because useless, in organisms 
propagating by sexual union. A woman may not want a lover, 
but may yet want a child. This merely means that her maternal 
instincts have been aroused, while her sexual instincts are still 
latent. A desire for reproduction, as soon as that desire becomes 
instinctive, necessarily takes on the form of the sexual impulse, 
for there is no other instinctive mechanism by which it can pos- 
sibly express itself. A "reproductive instinct," apart from the 
sexual instinct and apart from the maternal instinct, cannot be 
admitted; it would be an absurdity. Even in women in whom 
the maternal instincts are strong, it may generally be observed 
that, although before a woman is in love, and also during the 
later stages of her love, the conscious desire for a child may be 
strong, during the time when sexual passion is at its highest 
the thought of offspring, under normally happy conditions, tends 
to recede into the background. Eeproduetion is the natural 
end and object of the sexual instinct, but the statement that it 
is part of the contents of the sexual impulse, or can in any way 
be used to define that impulse, must be dismissed as altogether 
inacceptable. Indeed, although the term "reproductive instinct" 
is frequently used, it is seldom used in a sense that we need take 
seriously ; it is vaguely employed as a euphemism by those who 
wish to veil the facts of the sexual life; it is more precisely 
employed mainly by those who are unconsciously dominated by 
a superstitious repugnance to sex. 

I now turn to a very much more serious and elaborate at- 
tempt to define the constitution of the sexual impulse, that of 
Moll. He finds that it is made up of two separate components, 


each of which may be looked upon as an uncontrollable impulse. 1 
One of these is that by which the tension of the sexual organs is 
spasmodically relieved ; this he calls the impulse of detumescence, 2 
and he regards it as primary, resembling the impulse to empty 
a full bladder. The other impulse is the "instinct to approach, 
touch, and kiss another person, usually of the opposite sex" ; this 
he terms the impulse of contrectation, and he includes under this 
head not only the tendency to general physical contact, but also 
the psychic inclination to become generally interested in a person 
of the opposite sex. Each of these primary impulses Moll re- 
gards as forming a constituent of the sexual instinct in both 
men and women. It seems to me undoubtedly true that these 
two impulses do correspond to the essential phenomena. The 
awkward and unsatisfactory part of Moll's analysis is the rela- 
tion of the one to the other. It is true that he traces both 
impulses back to the sexual glands, that of detumescence di- 
rectly, that of contrectation indirectly; but evidently he does 
not regard them as intimately related to each other; he insists 
on the fact that they may exist apart from each other, that 
they do not appear synchronously in youth; the contrectation 
impulse he regards as secondary; it is, he states, an indirect 
result of the sexual glands, "only to be understood by the 
developmental history of these glands and the object which 
they subserve" ; that is to say, that it is connected with the rise 
of the sexual method of reproduction and the desirability of 
the mingling of the two sexes in procreation, while the im- 
pulse of detumescence arose before the sexual method of re- 
production had appeared; thus the contrectation impulse was 
propagated by natural selection together with the sexual method 
of reproduction. The impulse of contrectation is secondary, and 
Moll even regards it as a secondary sexual character. 

While, therefore, this analysis seems to include all the 
phenomena and to be worthy of very careful study as a serious 

1 Untersvchungen iiber die Libido Sexualis, Berlin, 1897-98. 

2 Moll adopts the term "impulse of detumescence" (Detumescenz- 
trieb) instead of "impulse of ejaculation," because in women there is 
either no ejaculation or it cannot be regarded as essential. 


and elaborate attempt to present an adequate psychological 
definition of the sexual impulse, it scarcely seems to me that we 
can accept it in precisely the form in which Moll presents it. 
I believe, however, that by analyzing the process a little more 
minutely we shall find that these two constituents- of the sexual 
impulse are really much more intimately associated than at the 
first glance appears, and that we need by no means go back to 
the time when the sexual method of reproduction arose to ex- 
plain the significance of the phenomena which Moll includes 
under the term contrectation. 

To discover the true significance of the phenomena in men 
it is necessary to observe carefully the phenomena of love-making 
not only among men, but among animals, in which the impulse 
of contrectation plays a very large part, and involves an enor- 
mous expenditure of energy. Darwin was the first to present 
a comprehensive view of, at all events a certain group of, the 
phenomena of contrectation in animals; on his interpretation 
of those phenomena he founded his famous theory of sexual se- 
lection. "We are not primarily concerned with that theory; but 
the facts on which Darwin based his theory lie at the very roots 
of our subject, and we are bound to consider their psychological 
significance. In the first place, since these phenomena are 
specially associated with Darwin's name, it may not be out of 
place to ask what Darwin himself considered to be their psy- 
chological significance. It is a somewhat important question, 
even for those who are mainly concerned with the validity of 
the theory which Darwin established on those facts, but so far 
as I know it has not hitherto been asked. I find that a careful 
perusal of the Descent of Man reveals the presence in Darwin's 
mind of two quite distinct theories, neither of them fully de- 
veloped, as to the psychological meaning of the facts he was 
collecting. The two following groups of extracts will serve to 
show this very conclusively : "The lower animals have a sense 
of beauty," he declares, "powers of discrimination and taste 
on the part of the female" (p. 2111) ; "the females habitually 

1 1 quote from the second edition, as issued in 1881. 


or occasionally prefer the more beautiful males," "there is little 
improbability in the females of insects appreciating beauty in 
form or color" (p. 329) ; he speaks of birds as the most "esthetic" 
of all animals excepting man, and adds that they have "nearly 
the same taste for the beautiful as we have" (p. 359) ; he re- 
marks that a change of any kind in the structure or color of 
the male bird "appears to have been admired by the female" 
(p. 385). He speaks of the female Argus pheasant as possess- 
ing "this almost human degree of taste." Birds, again, "seem 
to have some taste for the beautiful both in color and sound," 
and "we ought not to feel too sure that the female does not 
attend to each detail of beauty" (p. 421). Novelty, he says, is 
"admired by birds for its own sake" (p. 495). "Birds have fine 
powers of discrimination and in some few instances it can be 
shown that they have a taste for the beautiful" (p. 496). The 
"esthetic capacity" of female animals has been advanced by 
exercise just as our own taste has improved (p. 616). On the 
other hand, we find running throughout the book quite another 
idea. Of cicadas he tells us that it is probable that, "like female 
birds, they are excited or allured by the male with the most 
attractive voice" (p. 282) ; and, coming to -Locustidw, he states 
that "all observers agree that the sounds serve either to call 
or excite the mute females" (p. 283). Of birds he says, "I am 
led to believe that the females prefer or are most excited by 
the more brilliant males" (p. 316). Among birds also the males 
"endeavor to charm, or excite their mates by love-notes," etc., 
and "the females are excited by certain males, and thus uncon- 
sciously prefer them" (p. 367), while ornaments of all kinds 
"apparently serve to excite, attract, or fascinate the female" 
(p. 394). In a supplemental note, also, written in 1876, five 
years after the first publication of the Descent of Man, and 
therefore a late statement of his views, Darwin remarks that 
■"no supporter of the principle of sexual selection believes that 
the females select particular points of beauty in the males; 
they are merely excited or attracted in a greater degree by one 
male than by another, and this seems often to depend, especially 


with birds, on brilliant coloring" (p. 623). Thus, on the one 
hand, Darwin interprets the phenomena as involving a real 
esthetic element, a taste for the beautiful; on the other hand, 
he states, without apparently any clear perception that the two 
views are quite distinct, that the colors and sounds and other 
characteristics of the male are not an appeal to any esthetic 
sense of the female, but an appeal to her sexual emotions, a 
stimulus to sexual excitement, an allurement to sexual contact. 
According to the first theory, the female admires beauty, con- 
sciously or unconsciously, and selects the most beautiful part- 
ner 1 ; according to the second theory, there is no esthetic ques- 
tion involved, but the female is unconsciously influenced by the 
most powerful or complex organic stimulus to which she is 
subjected. There can be no question that it is the second, 
and not the first, of these two views which we are justified in 
accepting. Darwin, it must be remembered, was not a psy- 
chologist^ and he lived before the methods of comparative psy- 
chology had begun to be developed; had he written twenty 
years later we may be sure he would never have used so in- 
cautiously some of the vague and hazardous expressions I have 
quoted. He certainly injured his theory of sexual selection by 
stating it in too anthropomorphic language, by insisting on 
"choice," "preference," "esthetic sense," etc. There is no need 
whatever to burden any statement of the actual facts by such 
terms borrowed from human psychology. The female responds 
to the stimulation of the male at the right moment just as the 
tree responds to the stimulation of the warmest days in spring. 
We should but obscure this fact by stating that the tree 
"chooses" the most beautiful days on which to put forth its 
young sprouts. In explaining the correlation between respon- 
sive females and accomplished males the supposition of esthetic 

l This is the theory which by many has alone been seen in Dar- 
win's Descent of Man. Thus even his friend Wallace states uncondi- 
tionally (Troptcal Nature, p. 193) that Darwin accepted a "voluntary 
or conscious sexual selection," and seems to repeat the same statement 
in Darwinism (1889), p. 283. Lloyd Morgan, in his discussion of the 
pairing instinct m Habit and Instinct (1896), seems also only to see 
this side of Darwin's statement. 


choice is equally unnecessary. It is, however, interesting to 
observe that, though Darwin failed to see that the love-com- 
bats, pursuits, dances, and parades of the males served as a 
method of stimulating the impulse of contrectation — or, as it 
would be better to term it, tumescence — in the male himself, 1 
he to some extent realized the part thus played in exciting the 
equally necessary activity of tumescence in the female. 

The justification for using the term "tumescence," which I here 
propose, is to be found in the fact that vascular congestion, more espe- 
cially of the parts related to generation, is an essential preliminary to 
acute sexual desire. This is clearly brought out in Heape's careful 
study of the "sexual season" in mammals. Heape distinguishes between 
the "pro-estrum," or preliminary period of congestion, in female animals 
and the immediately following "estrus,'' or period of desire. The latter 
period is the result of the former, and, among the lower animals at all 
events, intercourse only takes place during the estrus, not during the 
pro-estrum. Tumescence must thus be obtained before desire can become 
acute, and courtship runs pari passu with physiological processes. "Nor- 
mal estrus," Heape states, "occurs in conjunction with certain changes 
in the uterine tissue, and this is accompanied by congestion and stimu- 
lation or irritation of the copulatory organs. . . Congestion is 
invariably present and is an essential condition. . . The first 
sign of pro-estrum noticed in the lower mammals is a swollen and con- 
gested vulva and a general restlessness, excitement, or uneasiness. 
There are other signs familiar to breeders of various mammals, such 
as the congested conjunctiva of the rabbit's eye and the drooping ears 
of the pig. Many monkeys exhibit congestion of the face and nipples, 
as well as of the buttocks, thighs, and neighboring parts; sometimes 
they are congested to a. very marked extent, and in some species a, 
swelling, occasionally prodigious, of the soft tissues round the anal and 
generative openings, which is also at the time brilliantly congested, 
indicates the progress of the pro-estrum. . The growth of the 
stroma-tissue [in the uterus of monkeys during the pro-estrum] is 
rapidly followed by an increase in the number and size of the vessels 
of the stroma; the whole becomes richly supplied with blood, and the 
surface is flushed and highly vascular. This process goes on until- the 
whole of the internal stroma becomes tense and brilliantly injected 

l In his Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, 
Darwin was puzzled by the fact that, in captivity, animals often cop- 
ulate without conceiving and failed to connect that fact with the 
processes behind his own theory of sexual selection. 


with blood. . In all essential points the menstruation or pro- 

estrum of the human female is identical with that of monkeys. . . . 
Estrus is possible only after the changes due to pro-estrum have taken 
place in the uterus. A wave of disturbance, at first evident in the 
external generative organs, extends to the uterus, and after the various 
phases of pro-estrum have been gone through in that organ, and the 
excitement there is subsiding, it would seem as if the external organs 
gain renewed stimulus, and it is then that estrus takes place. . 
In all animals which have been investigated coition is not allowed by 
the female until some time after the swelling and congestion of the 
vulva and surrounding tissue are first demonstrated, and in those 
animals which suffer from a considerable discharge of blood the main 
portion of that discharge, if not the whole of it, will be evacuated be- 
fore sexual intercourse is allowed." (W. Heape, "The 'Sexual Season' of 
Mammals,'' Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science, vol. xliv, Part 
I, 1900. Estrus has since been fully discussed in Marshall's Physiology 
of Reproduction.) This description clearly brings out the fundamen- 
tally vascular character of the process I have termed "tumescence"; it 
must be added, however, that in man the nervous elements in the proc- 
ess tend to become more conspicuous, and more or less obliterate these 
primitive limitations of sexual desire. (See "Sexual Periodicity" in the 
first volume of these Studies.) 

Moll subsequently restated his position with reference to my 
somewhat different analysis of the sexual impulse, still maintaining 
his original view ("Analyse des Geschlechtstriebes," Medizinische 
Klinik, Nos. 12 and 13, 1905; also Geschlecht und Gesellschaft, vol. ii, 
Nos. 9 and 10). Numa Praetorius (Jahrbuch far Sexuelle Ztcischen- 
stufen, 1904, p. 592) accepts contrectation, tumescence, and detumes- 
eence as all being stages in the same process, contrectation, which he 
defines as the sexual craving for a definite individual, coming first. 
Robert Miiller (Sexualbiologie, 1907, p. 37) criticises Moll much in the 
same sense as I have done and considers that contrectation and detumes- 
cence cannot be separated, but are two expressions of the same impulse; 
so also Max Katte, "Die Praliminarien des Geschleehtsaktes," Zeit- 
schrift fur Sescualicissenschaft, Oct., 1908, and G. Saint-Paul, L'Homo- 
sexualite et les Types Homosexuels, 1910, p. 390. 

While I regard Moll's analysis as a valuable contribution to the 
elucidation of the sexual impulse, I must repeat that I cannot regard 
it as final or completely adequate. As I understand the process, con- 
trectation is an incident in the development of tumescence, an ex- 
tremely important incident indeed, but not an absolutely fundamental 
and primitive part of it. It is equally an incident, highly important 
though not primitive and fundamental, of detumescence. Contrectation, 


from first to last, furnishes the best conditions for the exercise of the 
sexual process, but it is not an absolutely essential part of the process 
and in the early stages of zoological development it had no existence at 
all. Tumescence and detumescence are alike fundamental, primitive, 
and essential.; in resting the sexual impulse on these necessarily con- 
nected processes we are basing ourselves on the solid bedrock of nature. 
Moreover, of the two processes, tumescence, which in time comes 
first, is by far the most important, and nearly the whole of sexual 
psychology is rooted in it. To assert, with Moll, that the sexual proc- 
ess may be analyzed into contrectation and detumescence alone is to 
omit the most essential part of the process. It is much the same as to 
analyze the mechanism of a gun into probable contact with the hand, 
and a more or less independent discharge, omitting all reference to the 
loading of the gun. The essential elements are the loading and the 
discharging. Contrectation is a part of loading, though not a neces- 
sary part, since the loading may be effected mechanically. But to 
understand the process of firing a gun and to comprehend the mechanism 
of the discharge, we must insist on the act of loading and not merely on 
the contact of the hand. So it is in analyzing the sexual impulse. 
Contrectation is indeed highly important, but it is important only in 
so far as it aids tumescence, and so may be subordinated to tumescence, 
exactly as it may also be subordinated to detumescence. It is tumes- 
cence which is the really essential part of the process, and we cannot 
afford, with Moll, to ignore it altogether, 

Wallace opposed Darwin's theory of sexual selection, but 
it can scarcely be said that his attitude toward it bears critical 
examination. On the one hand, as has already been noted, he 
saw but one side of that theory and that the unessential side, 
and, on the other hand, his own view really coincided with 
the more essential elements in Darwin's theory. In his Tropical 
Nature he admitted that the male's "persistency and energy 
win the day," and also that this "vigor and liveliness" of the 
male are usually associated with intense coloration, while twenty 
years later (in his Darwinism) he admitted also that it is 
highly probable that the female is pleased or excited by the 
male's display. But all that is really essential in Darwin's 
theory is involved, directly or indirectly, in these admissions. 

Bspinas, in 1878, in his suggestive book, Des SocieUs Ani- 
males, described the odors, colors and forms, sounds, games, 
parades, and mock battles of animals, approaching the subject 


in a somewhat more psychological spirit than either Darwin or 
Wallace, and he somewhat more clearly apprehended the object 
of these phenomena in producing mutual excitement and stimu- 
lating tumescence. He noted the significance of the action of 
the hermaphroditic snails in inserting their darts into each 
other's flesh near the vulva in order to cause preliminary ex- 
citation. He remarks of this whole group of phenomena : "It 
is the preliminary of sexual union, it constitutes the first act 
of it. By it the image of the male is graven on the conscious- 
ness of the female, and in a manner impregnates it, so as to 
determine there, as the effects of this representation descend 
to the depths of the organism, the physiological modifications 
necessary to fecundation." Beaunis, again, in an analysis of 
the sexual sensations, was inclined to think that the dances and 
parades of the male are solely intended to excite the female, 
not perceiving, however, that they at the same time serve to 
further excite the male also. 1 

A better and more comprehensive statement was reached 
by Tillier, who, to some extent, may be said to have anticipated 
Groos. Darwin, Tillier pointed out, had not sufficiently taken 
into account the coexistence of combat and courtship, nor 
the order of the phenomena. Courtship without combat, Tillier 
argued, is rare; "there is a normal coexistence of combat and 
courtship." 2 Moreover, he proceeded, force is the chief factor 

1 Beaunis, Sensations Internes, eh. v, "Besoins Sexuels," 1889. 
It may be noted that many years earlier Burdach (in his Physiologie ids 
Erfahrungswissenschaft, 1826) had recognized that the activity of the 
male favored procreation, and that mental and physical excitement 
seemed to have the same effect in the female also. 

2 It is scarcely necessary to point out that this is too extreme a, 
position. As J. G. Millais remarks of ducks (Natural-History of British 
Dvcks, p. 45), in courtship "success in winning the admiration of the 
female is rather a matter of persistent and active attention than, 
physical force," though the males occasionally fight over the female. 
The ruff (Machetes pugnax) is a pugnacious bird, as his name indicates. 
Yet, the reeve, the female of this species, is, as E. Selous shows ("Sexual 
Selection in Birds," Zoologist, Feb. and May, 1907), completely mistress 
of the situation. "She seems the plain and unconcerned little mistress 
of a numerous and handsome seraglio, each member of which, however 
he flounce and bounce, can only wait to be chosen." Any fighting 
among the males is only incidental and is not » factor in selection. 


in determining the possession of the female by the male, who 
in some species is even prepared to exert force on her; so that 
the female has little opportunity of sexual selection, though she 
is always present at these combats. He then emphasized the 
significant fact that courtship takes place long after pairing has 
ceased, and the question of selection thus been eliminated. The 
object of courtship, he concluded, is not sexual selection by the 
female, but the sexual excitement of both male and female, such 
excitement, he asserted, not only rendering coupling easier, but 
favoring fecundation. Modesty, also, Tillier further argued, 
again anticipating Groos, works toward the same end ; it renders 
the male more ardent, and by retarding coupling may also in- 
crease the secretions of the sexual glands and favor the chances 
of reproduction. 1 

In a charming volume entitled The Naturalist in La Plata (1892) 
Mr. W. H. Hudson included a remarkable chapter on "Music and 
Dancing in Nature." In this chapter he described many of the dances, 
songs, and love-antics of birds, but regarded all such phenomena as 
merely "periodical fits of gladness." While, however, we may quite well 
agree with Mr. Hudson that conscious sexual gratification on the part 
of the female is not the cause of music and dancing performances in 
birds, nor of the brighter colors and ornaments that distinguish the 
male, such an opinion by no means excludes the conclusion that these 
phenomena are primarily sexual and intimately connected with the 
process of tumescence in both sexes. It is noteworthy that, according 
to H. E. Howard ("On Sexual Selection in Birds," Zoologist, Nov., 
1903), color is most developed just before pairing, rapidly becoming 
less beautiful — even within a few hours — after this, and the most 
beautiful male is most successful in getting paired. The fact that, 
as Mr. Hudson himself points out, it is at the season of love that these 
manifestations mainly, if not exclusively, appear, and that it is the 
more brilliant and highly endowed males which play the chief part in 
them, only serves to confirm such a, conclusion. To argue, with Mr. 
Hudson, that they cannot be sexual because they sometimes occur be- 
fore the arrival of the females, is much the same as to argue that the 

Moreover, as R. Miiller points out {loo. eit., p. 290), fighting would not 
usually attain the end desired, for if the males expend their time and 
strength in a serious combat they merely afford a third less pugnacious 
male a better opportunity of running off with the prize. 

l L. Tillier, L' Instinct Scxuel, 1889, pp. 74, 118, 119, 124 el se<q., 289. 


antics of a kitten with a feather or a reel have no relationship what- 
ever to mice. The birds that began earliest to practise their accom- 
plishments would probably have most chance of success when the females 
arrived. Darwin himself said that nothing is commoner than for 
animals to take pleasure in practising whatever instinct they follow 
at other times for some real good. These manifestations are primarily 
for the sake of producing sexual tumescence, and could not well have 
been developed to the height they have reached unless they were con- 
nected closely with propagation. That they may incidentally serve to 
express "gladness" one need not feel called upon to question. 

Another observer of birds, Mr. E. Selous, has made observations 
which are of interest in this connection. He finds that all bird-dances 
are not nuptial, but that some birds — the stone-curlew (or great plover), 
for example — have different kinds of dances. Among these birds he has 
made the observation, very significant from our present point of view, 
that the nuptial dances, taken part in by both of the pair, are imme- 
diately followed by intercourse. In spring "all such runnings and chas- 
ings are, at this time, but a part of the business of pairing, and one 
divines at once that such attitudes are of a sexual character. 
Here we have a bird with distinct nuptial (sexual) and social (non-sex- 
ual) forms of display or antics, and the former as well as the latter are 
equally indulged in by both sexes." (E. Selous, Bird Watching, pp. 

The same author (ibid., pp. 79, 94) argues that in the fights of two 
males for one female — with violent emotion on one side and interested 
curiosity on the other — the attitude of the former "might gradually 
come to be a display made entirely for the female, and of the latter a 
greater or less degree of pleasurable excitement raised by it, with a 
choice in accordance." On this view the interest of the female would 
first have been directed, not to the plumage, but to the frenzied actions 
and antics of the male. From these antics in undeeorated birds would 
gradually develop the interest in waving plumes and fluttering wings. 
Such a dance might come to be of a quite formal and non-courting 

Last, we owe to Professor Hacker what may fairly be regarded, 
in all main outlines, as an almost final statement of the matter. In his 
Gesang der Tiigel (1900) he gives a very clear account of the evolution 
of bird-song, which he regards as the most essential element in all this 
group of manifestations, furnishing the key also to the dancing and 
other antics. Originally the song consists only of call-cries and recogni- 
tion-notes. Under the parallel influence of natural selection and sexual 
selection they become at the pairing season reflexes of excitement and 
thus develop into methods of producing excitement, in the male by the 


muscular energy required, and in the female through the ear; finally 
they become play, though here also it is probable that use is not ex- 
cluded. Thus, so far as the male bird is concerned, bird-song possesses 
a primary prenuptial significance in attracting the female, a secondary 
nuptial significance in producing excitement (p. 48). He holds also 
that the less-developed voices of the females aid in attaining the 
same end (p. 51). Finally, bird-song possesses a tertiary extranuptial 
significance (including exercise play, expression of gladness). Hacker 
points out, at the same time, that the maintenance of some degree of 
sexual excitement beyond pairing time may be of value for the preserva- 
tion of the species, in case of disturbance during breeding and consequent 
necessity for commencing breeding over again. 

Such a theory as this fairly coincides with the views brought for- 
ward in the preceding pages, — views which are believed to be in harmony 
with the general trend of thought today, — since it emphasizes the im- 
portance of tumescence and all that favors tumescence in the sexual 
process. The so-called esthetic element in sexual selection is only in- 
directly of importance. The male's beauty is really a symbol of his 

It will be seen that this attitude toward the facts of tumescence 
among birds and other animals includes the recognition of dances, songs, 
etc., as expressions of "gladness." As such they are closely comparable 
to the art manifestations among human races. Here, as Weismann in 
his Gedanken iiber Musik has remarked, we may regard the artistic 
faculty as a, by-product: "This [musical] faculty is, as it were, the 
mental hand with which we play on our own emotional nature, a hand 
not shaped for this purpose, not due to the necessity for the enjoyment 
of music, but owing its origin to entirely different requirements." 

The psychological significance of these facts has been care- 
fully studied and admirably developed by Groos in his classic 
works on the play instinct in animals and in men. 1 Going 
beyond Wallace, Groos denies conscious sexual selection, but, as 
he points out, this by no means involves the denial of uncon- 
scious selection in the sense that "the female is most easily won 
by the male who most strongly excites her sexual instincts." 
Groos further quotes a pregnant generalization of Ziegler: "In 
all animals a high degree of excitement of the nervous system 
is necessary to procreation, and thus we find an excited prelude 

IK. Groos, Die Spiele der Thiere, 1896; Die Spiele der Menschen, 
1899; both are translated into English. 


to procreation widely spread." 1 Such a stage, indeed, as Groos 
points out, is usually necessary before any markedly passionate 
discharge of motor energy, as may be observed in angry dogs 
and the Homeric heroes. While, however, in other motor ex- 
plosions the prelude may be reduced to a minimum, in courtship 
it is found in a highly marked degree. The primary object of 
courtship, Groos insists, is to produce sexual excitement. 

It is true that Groos's main propositions were by no 
means novel. Thus, as I have pointed out, he was at most 
points anticipated by Tillier. But Groos developed the argu- 
ment in so masterly a manner, and with so many wide-ranging 
illustrations, that he has carried conviction where the mere 
insight of others had passed unperceived. Since Darwin wrote 
the Descent of Man the chief step in the development of the 
theory of sexual selection has been taken by Groos, who has 
at the same time made it clear that sexual selection is largely 
a special case of natural selection. 2 The conjunction of the 
sexes is seen to be an end only to be obtained with much 
struggle; the difficulty of achieving sexual erethism in both 
sexes, the difficulty of so stimulating such erethism in the fe- 
male, that her instinctive coyness is overcome, these difficulties 
the best and most vigorous males, 3 those most adapted in other 

1 Prof. H. E. Ziegler, in a private letter to Professor Groos, 
der Thiere, p. 202. 

2 Die Spiele der Thiere, p. 244. This had been briefly pointed out 
by earlier writers. Thus, Haeokel (Gen. Morph., ii, p. 244) remarked 
that righting for females is a special or modified kind of struggle for ex- 
istence, and that it acts on both sexes. 

3 It may be added that in the human species, as Bray remarks 
("Le Beau dans la Nature," Revue Philosophique, October, 1901, p. 403), 
"the hymen would seem to tend to the same end, as if nature had 
wished to reinforce by a natural obstacle the moral restraint of modesty, 
so that only the vigorous male could insure his reproduction." There 
can be no doubt that among many animals pairing is delayed so far 
as possible until maturity is reached. "It is a strict rule amongst 
birds," remarks J. G. Millais (op. cit., p. 46), "that they do not breed 
until both sexes have attained the perfect adult plumage." Until that 
happens, it seems probable, the conditions for sexual excitation are not 
fully established. We know little, says Howard (Zoologist, 1903, p. 
407 ) , of the age at which birds begin to breed, but it is known that 
"there are yearly great numbers of individuals who do not breed, and 
the evidence seems to show that such individuals are immature." 


respects to carry on the race, may most easily overcome. In 
this connection we may note what Marro has said in another 
connection, when attempting to answer the question why it is 
that among savages courtship becomes so often a matter in 
which persuasion takes the form of force. The explanation, 
he remarks, is yet very simple. Force is the foundation of 
virility, and its psychic manifestation is courage. In the. strug- 
gle for life violence is the first virtue. The modesty of women 
— in its primordial form consisting in physical resistance, active 
or passive, to the assaults of the male — aided selection by put- 
ting to the test man's most important quality, force. Thus it 
is that when choosing among rivals for her favors a woman 
attributes value to violence. 1 Marro thus independently con- 
firms the result reached by Groos. 

The debate which has for so many years been proceeding 
concerning the validity of the theory of sexual selection may 
now be said to be brought to an end. Those who supported 
Darwin and those who opposed him were, both alike, in part 
right and in part wrong, and it is now possible to combine the 
elements of truth on either side into a coherent whole. This is 
now beginning to be widely recognized; Lloyd Morgan, 2 for in- 
stance, has readjusted his position as regards the "pairing 
instinct" in the light of G-roos's contribution to the subject. 
"The hypothesis of sexual selection," he concludes, "suggests 
that the accepted male is the one which adequately evokes the 
pairing impulse. . . . Courtship may thus be regarded 
from the physiological point of view as a means of producing 
the requisite amount of pairing hunger ; of stimulating the whole 
system and facilitating general and special vascular changes; 
of creating that state of profound and explosive irritability 
which has for its psychological concomitant or antecedent an 
imperious and irresistible craving. . . . Courtship is thus 

1 A. Marro, La Puberty 1901, p. 464. 

2 Lloyd Morgan, Animal Behavior, 1900, pp. 264-5. It may be 
•added that, on the esthetic side, Him, in his study {The Origins of Art, 
1900), reaches conclusions which likewise, in the main, concord with 
those of Groos. 



the strong and steady bending of the bow that the arrow may 
find its mark in a biological end of the highest importance in 
the survival of a healthy and vigorous race." 

Having thus viewed the matter broadly, we may consider in detail 
a few examples of the process of tumescence among the lower animals 
and man, for, as will be seen, the process in both is identical. As 
regards animal courtship, the best treasury of facts is Brehm's Thier- 
leben, while Buchner's Liebe und Liebes-Leben in der TMerwelt is a use- 
ful summary; the admirable discussion of bird-dancing and other forms 
of courtship in Hacker's Gesang der Vogel, chapter iv, may also be con- 
sulted. As regards man, Wallaschek's Primitive Music, chapter vii, 
brings together much scattered material, and is all the more valuable 
since the author rejects any form of sexual selection; Hirn's Origins 
of Art, chapter xvii, is well worth reading, and Rack's Primitive Love 
and Love-stories contains a large amount of miscellaneous information. 
I have preferred not to draw on any of these easily accessible sources 
(except that in one or two eases I have utilized references they sup- 
plied), but here simply furnish illustrations met with in the course of 
my own reading. 

Even in the hermaphroditic slugs (Limax maximus) the process 
of courtship is slow and elaborate. It has been described by James 
Bladon ("The Loves of the Slug [Limax cinereus]," Zoologist, vol. xv, 
1857, p. 6272). It begins toward midnight on sultry summer nights, 
one slug slowly following another, resting its mouth on what may be 
called the tail of the first, and following its every movement. Finally 
they stop and begin crawling around each other, emitting large quan- 
tities of mucus. When this has constituted a mass of sufficient size 
and consistence they suspend themselves from it by a cord of mucus 
from nine to fifteen inches in length, continuing to turn round each 
other till their bodies form a cone. Then the organs of generation aro 
protruded from their orifice near the mouth and, hanging down a short 
distance, touch each other. They also then begin again the same spiral 
motion, twisting around each other, like a two-strand cord, assuming 
various and beautiful forms, sometimes like an inverted agaric, or a 
foliated murex, or a leaf of curled parsley, the light falling on the 
ever-varying surface of the generative organs sometimes producing 
iridescence. It is not until after a considerable time that the organs 
untwist and are withdrawn and the bodies separate, to crawl up the 
suspending cord and depart. 

Some snails have a special organ for creating sexual excitement. 
A remarkable part of the reproductive system in many of the true 
Helicidse is the so-called dart, Liebespfeil, or telum Veneris. It consists 


of a straight or curved, sometimes slightly twisted, tubular shaft of 
carbonate of lime, tapering to a fine point above, and enlarging grad- 
ually, more often somewhat abruptly, to the base. The sides of the 
shaft are sometimes furnished with two or more blades; these are 
apparently not for cutting purposes, but simply to brace the stem. 
The dart is contained in a, dart-sac, which is attached as a, sort of 
pocket to the vagina, at no great distance from its orifice. In Helix 
aspersa the dart is about five-sixteenths of an inch in length, and one- 
eighth of an inch in breadth at its base. It appears most probable 
that the dart is employed as an adjunct for the sexual act. Besides the 
fact of the position of the dart-sac anatomically, we find that the 
darts are extended and become imbedded in the flesh, just before or 
during the act of copulation. It may be regarded, then, as an organ 
whose functions induce excitement preparatory to sexual union. It only 
occurs in well-grown specimens. (Rev. L. H. Cooke, "Molluscs," Cam- 
bridge Natural History, vol. iii, p. 143.) 

Racovitza has shown that in the octopus ( Octopus vulgaris ) court- 
ship is carried on with considerable delicacy, and not brutally, as had 
previously been supposed. The male gently stretches out his third arm 
on the right and caresses the female with its extremity, eventually pass- 
ing it into the chamber formed by the mantle. The female contracts 
spasmodically, but does not attempt to move. They remain thus about 
an hour or more, and during this time the male shifts the arm from 
one oviduct to the other. Finally he withdraws his arm, caresses her 
with it for a few moments, and then replaces it with his other arm. 
(E. G. Racovitza, in Archives de Zoologie Expirimentale, quoted in 
Natural Science, November, 1894.) 

The phenomena of courtship are very well illustrated by spiders. 
Peckham, who has carefully studied them, tells us of Saitis pulex: 
"On May 24th we found a mature female, and placed her in one 
of the larger boxes, and the next day we put a male in with her. He 
saw her as she stood perfectly still, twelve inches away; the glance 
seemed to excite him, and he at once moved toward her; when some four 
inches from her he stood still, and then began the most remarkable per- 
formances that an amorous male could offer to an admiring female. She 
eyed him eagerly, changing her position from time to time so that he 
might be always in view. He, raising his whole body on one side by 
straightening out the legs, and lowering it on the other by folding the 
first two pairs of legs up and under, leaned so far over as to be in 
danger of losing his balance, which he only maintained by sliding 
rapidly toward the lowered side. The palpus, too, on this side was 
turned back to correspond to the direction of the legs nearest it. He 
moved in a semicircle for about two inches, and then instantly re- 


versed the position of the legs and circled in the opposite direction, 
gradually approaching nearer and nearer to the female. Now she 
dashes toward him, while he, raising his first pair of legs, extends 
them upward and forward as if to hold her off, but withal slowly re- 
treats. Again and again he circles from side to side, she gazing toward 
him in a softer mood, evidently admiring the grace of his antics. This 
is repeated until we have counted one hundred and eleven circles made 
by the ardent little male. Now he approaches nearer and nearer, and 
when almost within reach whirls madly around and around her, she 
joining and whirling with him in a giddy maze. Again he falls back 
and resumes his semicircular motions, with his body tilted over; she, 
all excitement, lowers her head and raises her body so that it is almost 
vertical; both draw nearer; she moves slowly under him, he crawling 
over her head, and the mating is accomplished." 

The same author thus describes the courtship of Dendryphantes 
elegans : "While from three to five inches distant from her, he begins to 
wave his plumy first legs in a way that reminds one of a windmill. She 
eyes him fiercely, and he keeps at a proper distance for a long time. If 
he comes close she dashes at him, and he quickly retreats. Sometimes 
he becomes bolder, and when within an inch, pauses, with the first legs 
outstretched before him, not raised as is common in other species; the 
palpi also are held stiffly out in front with the points together. Again 
she drives him off, and so the play continues. Now the male grows ex- 
cited as he approaches her, and while still several inches away, whirls 
completely around and around; pausing, he runs closer and begins to 
make his abdomen quiver as he stands on tiptoe in front of her. Pranc- 
ing from side to side, he grows bolder and bolder, while she seems less 
fierce, and yielding to the excitement, lifts up her magnificently irides- 
cent abdomen, holding it at one time vertical, and at another sideways 
to him. She no longer rushes at him, but retreats a, little as he ap- 
proaches. At last he comes close to her, lying flat, with his first legs 
stretched out and quivering. With the tips of his front legs he gently 
pats her; this seems to arouse the old demon of resistance, and she 
drives him back. Again and again he pats her with a caressing move- 
ment, gradually creeping nearer and nearer, which she now permits 
without resistance, until he crawls over her head to her abdomen, far 
enough to reach the epigynum with his palpus." (G. W. Peckham, 
"Sexual Selection of Spiders," Occasional Papers of the Natural History 
Society of Wisconsin, 1889, quoted in Nature, August 21, 1890.) 

The courtship of another spider, the Agelena laoyrintKica, has 
been studied by Lecaillon ("Les Instincts et les Psychismes des 
Araignees," Revue Scientifique, Sept. 15, 1906. The male enters the 
female's web and may be found there about the middle of July. When 


courtship has begun it is not interrupted by the closest observation, 
even under the magnifying glass. At first it is the male which seeks 
to couple and he pursues the female over her web till, she consents. 
The pursuit may last some hours, the male agitating his abdomen in a 
peculiar way, while the female simply retreats a short distance without 
allowing herself to be approached. At last the female holds herself 
completely motionless, and then the male approaches, seizes her, places 
her on her side, sometimes carrying her to a more suitable part of the 
web. Then one of his copulative apparatus is applied to the female 
genital opening, and copulation begins. When completed (on an aver- 
age in about two hours) the male withdraws his copulatory palpus and 
turns over the female, who is still inert, on to her other side, then 
brings his second copulatory apparatus to the female opening and starts 
afresh. When the process is definitely completed the male leaves 
the female, suddenly retiring to a little distance. The female, who 
had remained completely motionless for four hours, suddenly runs after 
the male. But she only pursues him for a, short distance, and the two 
spiders remain together without any danger to either. Lfecaillon dis- 
believes the statement of Romanes (in his Animal Intelligence) that 
the female eats the male after copulation. But this certainly seems to 
occur sometimes among insects, as illustrated by the following instance 
described by so careful an observer of insects as Fabre. 

The Mantis religiosa is described by Fabre as contemplating the 
female for a long time in an attitude of ecstasy. She remains still and 
seems indifferent. He is small and she is large. At last he approaches; 
spreads his wings, which tremble convulsively; leaps on her back, and 
fixes himself there. The preludes are long and the coupling itself 
sometimes occupies five or six hours. Then they separate. But the 
same day or the following day she seizes him and eats him up in small 
mouthfuls. She will permit a whole series of males to have intercourse 
with her, always eating them up directly afterward. Fabre has even 
seen her eating the male while still on her back, his- head and neck 
gone, but his body still firmly attached. (J. H. Fabre, Souvenirs Ento- 
mologiques, fifth series, p. 307.) Fabre also describes in great detail 
(ibid., ninth series, chs. xxi-xxii) the sexual parades of the Languedoc 
scorpion (Scorpio occitanus) , an arachnid. These parades are in public; 
for their subsequent intercourse the couple seek complete seclusion, and 
the female finally eats the male. 

An insect (a species of Empis) has been described which excites 
the female by manipulating a large balloon. "This is of elliptical shape, 
about -seven millimeters long (nearly twice as long as the fly), hollow, 
and composed entirely of a single layer of minute bubbles, nearly uni- 
form in size, arranged in regular circles concentric with the axis of the 


structure. The beautiful, glistening whiteness of the object when the 
sun shines upon it makes it very conspicuous. The bubbles were 
slightly viscid, and in nearly every case there was a, small fly pressed 
into the front end of the balloon, apparently as food for the Empis. In 
all cases they were dead. The balloon appears to be made while the 
insect is flying in the air. Those flying highest had the smallest bal- 
loons. The bubbles are probably produced by some modification of the 
anal organs. It is possible that the captured fly serves as a nucleus to 
begin the balloon on. One ease of a captured fly but no balloon was 
observed. After commencing, it is probable that the rest of the struc- 
ture is made by revolving the completed part between the hind legs and 
adding more bubbles somewhat spirally. The posterior end of the bal- 
loon is left more or less open. The purpose of this structure is to 
attract the female. When numerous males were flying up and down 
the road, it happened several times that a female was seen to approach 
them from some choke-cherry blossoms near by. The males immediately 
gathered in her path, and she with little hesitation selected for a mate 
the one with the largest balloon, taking a position upon his back. After 
copulation had begun, the pair would settle down toward the ground, 
select a quiet spot, and the female would alight by placing her front 
legs across a horizontal grass blade, her head resting against the blade 
so as to brace the body in position. Here she would continue to hold 
the male beneath her for a little time, until the process was finished. 
The male, meanwhile, would be rolling the balloon about in a. variety of 
positions, juggling with it, one might almost say. After the male and 
female parted companyj the male immediately dropped the balloon upon 
the ground, and it was greedily seized by ants. No illustration could 
properly show the beauty of the balloon." (Aldrich and Turley, "A 
Balloon-making Fly," American Naturalist, October, 1899.) 

"In many specie3 of moths the males 'assemble' around the freshly 
emerged female, but no special advantage appears to attend on early 
arrival. The female sits apparently motionless, while the little crowd 
of suitors buzz around her for several minutes. Suddenly, and, as far 
as one can see, without any sign from the female, one of the males pairs 
with her and all the others immediately disappear. In these cases the 
males do not fight or struggle in any way, and as one watches the cere- 
mony the wonder arises as to how the moment is determined, and why 
the pairing did not take place before. Proximity does not decide the 
point, for long beforehand the males often alight close to the female 
and brush against her with fluttering wings. I have watched the process 
exactly as I have described it in a common Northern Noctua, the antler 
moth (Char<rax graminis), and I have seen the same thing among 
beetles." (E. B. Poulton, The Colors of Animals, 1890, p. 391.) This 


author mentions that among some butterflies the females take the active 
part. The example here quoted of courtship among moths illustrates 
how phenomena which are with difficulty explicable by the theory of 
sexual selection in its original form become at once intelligible when 
we realize the importance of tumescence in courtship. 

Of the Argentine cow-bird (Holothrus bonariensis) Hudson says 
{Argentine Ornithology, vol. i, p. 73) : "The song of the male, partic- 
ularly when making love, is accompanied with gestures and actions 
somewhat like those of the domestic pigeon. He swells himself out, 
beating the ground with his wings, and uttering a series of deep in- 
ternal notes, followed by others loud and clear; and occasionally, when 
uttering them, he suddenly takes wing and flies directly away from the 
female to » distance of fifty yards, and performs a wide circuit about 
her in the air, singing all the time. The homely object of his passion 
always appears utterly indifferent to this curious and pretty perform- 
ance; yet she must be even more impressionable than most female birds, 
since she continues scattering about her parasitical and often wasted 
eggs during four months in every year." 

Of a tyrant-bird (Pitangus Bolivianos) Hudson writes (Argentine 
Ornithology, vol. i, p. 148) : "Though the male and female are greatly 
attached, they do not go afield to hunt in company, but separate to 
meet again at intervals during the day. One of a couple (say, the 
female) returns to the trees where they are accustomed to meet, and 
after a time, becoming impatient or anxious at the delay of her consort, 
utters a very long, clear call-note. He is perhaps a quarter of a. mile 
away, watching for a frog beside a, pool, or beating over a thistle-bed, 
but he hears the note and presently responds with one of equal power. 
Then, perhaps, for half an hour, at intervals of half a. minute, the 
birds answer each other, though the powerful call of the one must in- 
terfere with his hunting. At length he returns; then the two birds, 
perched close together, with their yellow bosoms almost touching, 
crests elevated, and beating the branch with their wings, scream their 
loudest notes in concert — a confused jubilant noise that rings through 
the whole plantation. Their joy at meeting is patent, and their action 
corresponds to the warm embrace of a loving human couple." 

Of the red-breasted marsh-bird (Leistes superciliaris) Hudson 
(Argentine Ornithology, vol. i, p. 100) writes: "These birds are migra- 
tory, and appear everywhere in the eastern part of the Argentine coun- 
try early in October, arriving singly, after which each male takes up a 
position in a field or open space abounding with coarse grass and herb- 
age, where he spends most of his time perched on the summit of a tall 
stalk or weed, his glowing crimson bosom showing at a distance like 
some splendid flower above the herbage. At intervals of two or three 


minutes he soars vertically up to a, height of twenty, or twenty-five 
yards to utter his song, composed of a single long, powerful and rather 
musical note, ending with an attempt at a flourish, during which the 
bird flutters and turns about in the air; then, as if discouraged at his 
failure, he drops down, emitting harsh, guttural chirps, to resume his 
stand. Meanwhile the female is invisible, keeping closely concealed 
under the long grass. But at length, attracted perhaps by the bright 
bosom and aerial music of the male, she occasionally exhibits herself 
for a few moments, starting up with a wild zigzag flight, and, darting 
this way and that, presently drops into the grass once more. The 
moment she appears above the grass the male gives chase, and they 
vanish from sight together." 

"Courtship with the mallard," says J. G. Millais ( Natural History 
of British Ducks, p. 6), ''appears to be carried on by both sexes, though 
generally three or four drakes are seen showing themselves off to attract 
the attention of a single duck. Swimming round her, in a coy and 
semi-self-conscious manner, they now and again all stop quite still, 
nod, bow, and throw their necks out in token of their admiration and 
their desire of a favorable response. But the most interesting display 
is when all the drakes simultaneously stand up in the water and 
rapidly pass their bills down their breasts, uttering at the same time 
a low single note somewhat like the first half of the call that teal and 
pintail make when 'showing off.' At other times the love-making of 
the drake seems to be rather passive than active. While graciously 
allowing himself to be courted, he holds his head high with conscious 
pride, and accepts as a matter of course any attention that may be 
paid to him. A proud bird is he when three or four ducks come swim- 
ming along beside and around him, uttering a curious guttural note, 
and at the same time dipping their bills in quick succession to right 
and left. He knows what that means, and carries himself with even 
greater dignity than before. In the end, however, he must give in. As a 
last appeal, one of his lady lovers may coyly lower herself in the water 
till only the top of her back, head, and neck is seen, and so fascinating 
an advance as this no drake of any sensibility can withstand." 

The courting of the Argus pheasant, noted for the extreme beauty 
of the male's plumage, was observed by H. 0. Forbes in Sumatra. It 
is the habit of this bird to make "a. large circus, some ten or twelve 
feet in diameter, in the forest, which it clears of every leaf and twig and 
branch, till the ground is perfectly swept and garnished. On the margin 
of this circus there is invariably a projecting branch or high-arched 
root, at a few feet elevation above the ground, on which the female bird 
takes its place, while in the ring the male — the male birds alone possess 
great decoration — shows off all its magnificence for the gratification and 


pleasure of his consort and to exalt himself in her eyes." (H. 0. Forbes, 
A Naturalist's Wanderings, 1885, p. 131.) 

"All ostriches, adults as well as chicks, have » strange habit 
known as 'waltzing.' After running for a few hundred yards they will 
also stop, and, with raised wings, spin around rapidly for some time 
after until quite giddy, when a, broken leg occasionally occurs. . . . 
Vicious cocks 'roll' when challenging to fight or when wooing the hen. 
The cock will suddenly bump down on to his knees (the ankle-joint), 
open his wings, and then swing them alternately backward and forward, 
as if on a pivot. . . . While rolling, every feather over the whole 
body is on end, and the plumes are open, like a large white fan. At 
such a time the bird sees very imperfectly, if at all; in fact, he seems 
so preoccupied that, if pursued, one may often approach unnoticed. 
Just before rolling, a cock, especially if courting the hen, will often run 
slowly and daintily on the points of his toes, with neck slightly in- 
flated, upright, and rigid, the tail half-drooped, and all his body-feathers 
fluffed up; the wings raised and expanded, the inside edges touching the 
sides of the neck for nearly the whole of its length, and the plumes 
showing separately, like an open fan. In no other attitude is the 
splendid beauty of his plumage displayed to such advantage." (S. C. 
Cronwright Schreiner, "The Ostrich," Zoologist, March, 1897.) 

As may be seen from the foregoing fairly typical examples, the 
phenomena of courtship are highly developed, and have been most care- 
fully studied, in animals outside the mammal series. It may seem a 
long leap from birds to man; yet, as will be seen, the phenomena among 
primitive human peoples, if not, indeed, among many civilized peoples 
also, closely resemble those found among birds, though, unfortunately, 
they have not usually been so carefully studied. 

In Australia, where dancing is carried to a high pitch of elabora- 
tion, its association with the sexual impulse is close and unmistakable. 
Thus, Mr. Samuel Gason ( of whom it has been said that "no man living 
has been more among blacks or knows more of their ways") remarks 
concerning a dance of the Dieyerie tribe: "This dance men and women 
only take part in, in regular form and position, keeping splendid time 
to the rattle of the beat of two boomerangs; some of the women keep 
time by clapping their hands between their thighs; promiscuous sexual 
intercourse follows after the dance; jealousy is forbidden." Again, at 
the Mobierrie, or rat-harvest, "many weeks' preparation before the 
dance comes off; no quarreling is allowed; promiscuous sexual inter- 
course during the ceremony." The fact that jealousy is forbidden at 
these festivals clearly indicates that sexual intercourse is a, recognized 
and probably essential element in the ceremonies. This is further 
emphasized by the fact that at other festivals open sexual intercourse 


is not allowed. Thus, at the Mindarie, or dance at a peace festival 
(when a number of tribes comes together), "there is great rejoicing at 
the coming festival, which is generally held at the full of the moon, and 
kept up all night. The men are artistically decorated with down and 
feathers, with all kinds of designs. The down and feathers are stuck on 
their bodies with blood freshly taken from their penis; they are also 
nicely painted with various colors; tufts of boughs are tied on their 
ankles to make a noise while dancing. Promiscuous sexual intercourse 
is carried on secretly; many quarrels occur at this time." (Journal of 
the Anthropological Institute, vol. xxiv, November, 1894, p. 174.) 

In Australian dances, sometimes men and women dance together, 
sometimes the men dance alone, sometimes the women. In one dance 
described by Eyre: "Women are the chief performers; their bodies 
are painted with white streaks, and their hair adorned with cockatoo- 
feathers. They carry large sticks in their hands, and place themselves 
in a row in front, while the men with their spears stand in a row 
behind them. They then all commence their movements, but without 
intermingling, the males and females dancing by themselves. The 
women have occasionally another mode of dancing, by joining the hands 
together over the head, closing the feet, and bringing the knees into 
contact. The legs are then thrown outward from the knee, while the 
feet and hands are kept in their original position, and, being drawn 
quickly in again, a sharp sound is produced by the collision. This is 
also practised alone by young girls or by several together for their own 
amusement. It is adopted also when a single woman is placed in front 
of a row of male dancers to excite their passions." (E. J. Eyre, Jour- 
nals of Expeditions into Central Australia,, vol. ii, p. 235.) 

A charming Australian folk-tale concerning two sisters with wings, 
who disliked men, and their wooing by a. man, clearly indicates, even 
among the Australians (whose love-making is commonly supposed to be 
somewhat brutal in character ) , the consciousness that it is by his 
beauty, charm, and skill in courtship that a man wins a woman. 
Unahanach, the lover, stole unperceived to the river where the girls 
were bathing and at last showed himself carelessly sitting on a high 
tree. The girls were startled, but thought it would be safe to amuse 
themselves by looking at the intruder. "Young and with the most 
active figure, yet of a strength that defied the strongest emu, and even 
enabled him to resist an 'old man' kangaroo, he had no equal in the 
chase, and conscious power gave a dignity to his expression that at one 
glance calmed the fears of the two girls. His large brilliant eyes, 
shaded by a deep fringe of soft black eyelashes, gazed down upon them 
admiringly, and his rich black hair hung around his well-formed face, 
smooth and shining from the emu-oil with which it was abundantly 


covered." At last he persuaded them to talk and by and by induced them 
to call him husband. Then they went off with him, with no thought of 
flight in their hearts. ("Australian Folklore Stories," collected by 
W. Dunlop, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, new series, vol. i, 
1898, p. 33.) 

Of the people of Torres Straits Haddon states {Reports Anthro- 
pological Expedition to Torres Straits, vol. v, p. 222) : "It was during 
the secular dance, or Kap, that the girls usually lost their hearts to 
the young men. A young man who was a good dancer would find favor 
in the sight of the girls. This can be readily understood by anyone who 
has seen the active, skilful, and fatiguing dances of these people. A 
young man who could acquit himself well in these dances must be 
possessed of no mean strength and agility, qualities which everywhere 
appeal to the opposite sex. Further, he was decorated, according to 
local custom, with all that would render him more imposing in the eyes 
of the spectators. As the former chief of Mabuiag put it, 'In England 
if a man has plenty of money, women want to marry him; so here, if a 
man dances well they too want him.' In olden days the war-dance, 
which was performed after a successful foray, would be the most power- 
ful excitement to a marriageable girl, especially if a young man had 
distinguished himself sufficiently to bring home the head of someone he 
had killed." 

Among the tribes inhabiting the mouth of the Wanigela River, 
New Guinea, "when a boy admires a girl, he will not look at her, speak 
to her, or go near her. He, however, shows his love by athletic bounds, 
posing, and pursuit, and by the spearing of imaginary enemies, etc., 
before her, to attract her attention. If the girl reciprocates his love 
she will employ a small girl to give to him an ugauga gauna, or love 
invitation, consisting of an areca-nut whose skin has been marked with 
different designs, significant of her wish to ugauga. After dark he is 
apprised of the place where the girl awaits him; repairing thither, he 
seats himself beside her as close as possible, and they mutually share 
in the consumption of the betel-nut." This constitutes betrothal; 
henceforth he is free to visit the girl's house and sleep there. Mar- 
riages usually take place at the most important festival of the year, 
the lapa, preparations for which are made during the three previous 
months, so that there may be a bountiful and unfailing supply of 
bananas. Much dancing takes place among the unmarried girls, who, 
also, are tattooed at this time over the whole of the front of the body, 
special attention being paid to the lower parts, as a girl who is not 
properly tattooed there possesses no attraction in the eyes of young 
men. Married women and widows and divorced women are not for- 
bidden to take part in these dances, but it would be considered ridic- 


ulous for them to do so. (R. E. Guise, "On the Tribes of the Wanigela 
River," Journal of the Anthropological Institute, new series, vol. i, 1899, 
pp. 209, 214 et seq.) 

In the island of Nias -in the Malay Archipelago, Modigliani 
(mainly on the excellent authority of Sundermann, the missionary) 
states, at a wedding "dancing and singing go on throughout the day. 
The women, two or three at a time, a little apart from the men, take 
part in the dancing, which is very well adapted to emphasize the curves 
of the flanks and the breasts, though at the same time the defects of 
their legs are exhibited in this series of rhythmic contortions which 
constitute a Nias dance. The most graceful movement they execute is a 
lascivious undulation of the flanks while the face and breast are slowly 
wound round by the sarong [a sort of skirt] held in the hands, and 
then again revealed. These movements are executed with jerks of the 
wrist and contortions of the flanks, not always graceful, but which 
excite the admiration of the spectators, even of the women, who form in 
groups to sing in chorus a compliment, more or less sincere, in which 
they say: 'They dance with the grace of birds when they fly. They 
dance as the hawk flies; it is lovely to see.' They sing and dance both 
at weddings and at other festivals." (Elio Modigliani, Vn Viaggio a 
Nias, 1890, p. 549.) 

In Sumatra Marsden states that .chastity prevails more, perhaps, 
than among any other people: "But little apparent courtship precedes 
their marriages. Their manners do not admit of it, the ooojong and 
geddas (youths of each sex) being carefully kept asunder and the latter 
seldom trusted from under the wings of their mothers. . . The 

opportunities which the young people have of seeing and conversing 
with each other are at the birnbamgs, or public festivals. On these 
occasions the young people meet together and dance and sing in com- 
pany. The men, when determined in their regard, generally employ 
an old woman as their agent, by whom they make known their senti- 
ments, and send presents to the female of their choice. The parents 
then interfere, and the preliminaries being settled, a birribang takes 
place. The young women proceed in a body to the upper end of the balli 
(hall), where there is a part divided off for them by a curtain. They 
do not always make their appearance before dinner, that time, previous 
to a second or third meal, being appropriated to cock-fighting or other 
diversions peculiar to men. In the evening their other amusements 
take place, of which the dances are the principal. These are performed 
either singly or by two women, two men, or with both mixed. Their 
motions and attitudes are usually slow, approaching often to the las- 
civious. They bend forward as they dance, and usually carry a, ism, 
which they close and strike smartly against their elbows at particular 


cadences. . . The assembly seldom breaks up before daylight and 

these birnbangs are often continued for several days together. The 
young men frequent them in order to look out for wives, and the lasses 
of course set themselves off to the best advantage. They wear their 
best silken dresses, of their own weaving, as many ornaments of filigree 
as they possess, silver rings upon their arms and legs, and ear-rings of 
a particular construction. Their hair is variously adorned with flowers, 
and perfumed with oil of benjamin. Civet is also in repute, but more 
used by the men. To render their skin fine, smooth, and soft they make 
use of a white cosmetic called poopoor [a mixture of ginger, patch-leaf, 
maize, sandal-wood, fairy-cotton, and mush-seed with a basis of fine 
lice]." (W. Marsden, History of Sumatra, 17S3, p. 230.) 

The Alfuras of Seram in the Moluccas, who have not yet been 
spoilt by foreign influences, are very fond of music and dancing. Their 
tnaku dances, which take place at night, have been described by Joest: 
"Great torches of dry bamboos and piles of burning resinous leaves light 
up the giant trees to their very summits and reveal in the distance the 
little huts which the Alfuras have built in the virgin forests, as well as 
the skulls of the slain. The women squat together by the fire, making a 
deafening noise with the gongs and the drums, while the young girls, 
richly adorned with pearls and fragrant flowers, await the beginning of 
the dance. Then appear the men and youths without weapons, but in 
full war-costume, the girdle freshly marked with the number of slain 
enemies. [Among the Alfuras it is the man who has the largest num- 
ber of heads to show who has most chance of winning the object of his 
love.] They hold each other's arms and form a circle, which is not, 
however, completely closed. A song is started, and with small, slow 
steps this ring of bodies, like a winding snake, moves sideways, back- 
ward, closes, opens again, the steps become heavier, the songs and drums 
louder, the girls enter the circle and with closed eyes grasp the girdle 
of their chosen youths, who clasp them by the hips and necks, the chain 
becomes longer and longer, the dance and song more ardent, until the 
dancers grow tired and disappear in the gloom of the forest." (W. 
Joest, Welt-Fahrtcn, 1895, Bd. ii, p. 159.) 

The women of the New Hebrides dance, or rather sway, to and fro 
in the midst of a, circle formed by the men, with whom they do not 
directly mingle. They leap, show their genital parts to the men, and 
imitate the movements of coitus. Meanwhile the men unfasten the 
manou (penis-wrap) from their girdles with one hand, with the other 
imitating the action of seizing a woman, and, excited by the women, also 
go through a mock copulation. Sometimes, it is said, the dancers mas- 
turbate. This takes place amid plaintive songs, interrupted from time 
to time by loud cries and howls. (Untrodden Fields of Anthropology, 
by a French army-surgeon, 1898, vol. ii, p. 341.) 


Among the hill tribes of the Central Indian Hills may be traced a 
desire to secure communion with the spirit of fertility embodied in. 
vegetation. This appears, for instance, in a tree-dance, which is car- 
ried out on a date associated not only with the growths of the crops or 
with harvest, but also with the seasonal period for marriage and the 
annual Saturnalia. (W. Crooke, "The Hill Tribes," Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute, new series, vol. i, 1899, p. 243.) The asso- 
ciation of dancing with seasonal ritual festivals of a generative char- 
acter — of which the above is a, fairly typical instance — leads us to 
another aspect of these phenomena on which I have elsewhere touched 
in these Studies (vol. i) when discussing the "Phenomena of Periodicity." 

The Tahitians, when first discovered by Europeans, appear to have 
been highly civilized on the sexual side and very licentious. Yet even 
at Tahiti, when visited by Cook, the strict primitive relationship between 
dancing and courtship still remained traceable. Cook found "a dance 
called Timorodee, which is performed by young girls, whenever eight or 
ten of them can be collected together, consisting of motions and gestures 
beyond imagination wanton, in the practice of which they are brought 
up from their earliest childhood, accompanied by words which, if it were 
possible, would more explicitly convey the same ideas. But the practice 
which is allowed to the virgin is prohibited to the woman from the 
moment that she has put these hopeful lessons in practice and realized 
the symbols of the dance." He added, however, that among the specially 
privileged class of the Areoi these limitations were not observed, for 
he had heard that this dance was sometimes performed by them as a 
preliminary to sexual intercourse. ( Hawkesworth, An Account of the. 
Voyages, etc., 1775, vol. ii, p. 54.) 

Among the Marquesans at the marriage of a woman, even of high 
rank, she lies with her head at the bridegroom's knees and all the male 
guests come in single file, singing and dancing — those of lower class 
first and the great chiefs last — and have connection with the woman. 
There are often a very large number of guests and the bride is some- 
times so exhausted at the end that she has to spend several days in bed. 
(Tautain, "Etude sur le Mariage chez les PolynSsiens," L' Anthropologic, 
November-December, 1895, p. 642.) The interesting point for us here 
is that singing and dancing are still regarded as a preliminary to a 
sexual act. It has been noted that in sexual matters the Polynesians, 
when first discovered by Europeans, had largely gone beyond the primi- 
tive stage, and that this applies also to some of their dances. Thus the 
hula-hula dance, while primitive in origin, may probably be compared 
more to a civilized than to a primitive dance, since it has become 
divorced from real life. In the same way, while the sexual pantomime 
dance of the Azimba girls of central Africa has a direct and recognized 


relationship to the demands of real life, the somewhat allied dames du 
ventre of the Hamitie peoples of northern Africa are merely an amuse- 
ment, a play more or less based on the sexual instinct. At the same 
time it is important to bear in mind that there is no rigid dis- 
tinction between dances that are, and those that are not, primitive. 
As Haddon truly points out in a book containing valuable detailed 
descriptions of dances, even among savages dances are so developed that 
it is difficult to trace their origin, and at Torres Straits, he remarks, 
"there are certainly play or secular dances, dances for pure amusement 
without any ulterior design.'' (A. C. Haddon, Head Hunters, p. 233.) 
When we remember that dancing had probably become highly developed 
long before man appeared on the earth, this difficulty in determining 
the precise origin of human dancing cannot cause surprise. 

Spix and Martius described how the Muras of Brazil by moonlight 
would engage all night in a Baechantic dance in a great circle, hand 
in hand, the men on one side, the women on the other, shouting out all 
the time, the men "Who will marry me?" the women, "You are a 
beautiful devil; all women will marry you." (Spix and Martius, Reise 
in Brasilien, 1831, vol. iii, p. 1117.) They also described in detail the 
dance of the Brazilian Puris, performed in a state of complete naked- 
ness, the men in a row, the women in another row behind them. They 
danced backward and forward, stamping and singing, at first in a slow 
and melancholy style, but gradually with increasing vigor and excite- 
ment. Then the women began to rotate the pelvis backward and for- 
ward, and the men to thrust their bodies forward, the dance becoming 
a pantomimic representation of sexual intercourse {ibid., vol. i, 1823, 
pp. 373-5). 

Among the Apinages of Brazil, also, the women stand in a row, 
almost motionless, while the men dance and leap in front of them, both 
men and women at the same time singing. (Busealioni, "Reise zu den 
Apinages," Zeitschrift filr Ethnologie, 1899, ht. 6, p. 650.) 

Among the Gilas of New Mexico, "when a young man sees a girl 
whom he desires for » wife, he first endeavors to gain the good-will of 
the parents; this accomplished, he proceeds to serenade his lady-love, 
and will often sit for hours, day after day, near her home, playing on 
his flute. Should the girl not appear, it is a sign she rejects him; but 
if, on the other hand, she comes out to meet him, he knows that his 
suit is accepted, and he takes her to his home. No marriage ceremony 
is performed."l (H. H. Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific, vol. i, 
p. 549.) 

l It may be noted that the marriage ceremony itself is often of the 
nature of a courtship, a symbolic courtship, embodying a method of 
attaining tumescence. As Crawley, who has brought out this point, 


"Among the Jlinnetarees a singular night-danee is, it is said, 
sometimes held. During this amusement an opportunity is given to the 
squaws to select their favorites. A squaw, as she dances, will advance 
to a person with whom she is captivated, either for his personal 
attractions or for his renown in arms; she taps him on the shoulder 
and immediately runs out of the lodge and betakes herself to the hushes, 
followed by the favorite. But if it should happen that he has a par- 
ticular preference for another from whom he expects the same favor, or 
if he is restrained by a, vow, or is already satiated with indulgence, he 
politely declines her offer by placing his hand in her bosom, on which 
they return to the assembly and rejoin the dance." It is worthy of 
remark that in the language of the Omahas the word watche applies 
equally to the amusement of dancing and to sexual intercourse. (S. H. 
Long, Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, 1823, vol. i, p. 337.) 

At a, Kaffir marriage "singing and dancing last until midnight. 
Each party [the bride's and the bridegroom's] dances in front of the 
other, but they do not mingle together. As the evening advances, the 
spirits and passions of all become greatly excited; and the power of 
song, the display of muscular action, and the gesticulations of the 
dancers and leapers are something extraordinary. The manner in which, 
at certain times, one man or woman, more excited than the rest, bounds 
from the ranks, leaps into the air, bounces forward, and darts backward 
beggars all description. These violent exercises usually close about mid- 
night, when each party retires; generally, each man selects a paramour, 
and, indulging in sexual gratification, spends the remainder of the 
night." (W. C. Holden, The Kaffir Race, 1866, p. 192.) 

At the initiation of Kaffir boys into manhood, as described by 
Holden, they were circumcised. "Cattle are then slaughtered by the 
parents, and the boys are plentifully supplied with flesh meat; a good 
deal of dancing also ensues at this stage of the proceedings. The ukut- 
shila consists in attiring themselves with the leaves of the wild date 
in the most fantastic manner; thus attired they visit each of the 
kraals to which they belong in rotation, for the purpose of dancing. 
These dances are the most licentious which can be imagined. The women 
act a prominent part in them, and endeavor to excite the passions of the 
novices by performing all sorts of obscene gesticulations. As soon as 
the soreness occasioned by the act of circumcision is healed the boys 
are, as it were, let loose upon society, and exempted from nearly all the 

puts it, "Marriage-rites of union are essentially identical with love 
charms," and he refers in illustration to the custom of the Australian 
Arunta, among whom the man or woman by making music on the bull- 
roarer compels a person of the opposite sex to court him or her, the 
marriage being thus completed. (E. Crawley, The Mystic Rose, p. 318.) 


restraints of law; so that should they even steal and slaughter their 
neighbor's cattle they would not be punished; and they have the special 
privilege of seizing by force, if force be necessary, every unmarried 
woman they choose, for the purpose of gratifying their passions.'' Sim- 
ilar festivals take place at the initiation of girls. (W. C. Holden, The 
Kaffir Race, 1866, p. 185.) 

The Rev. J. Macdonald has described the ceremonies and customs 
attending and following the initiation-rites of a young girl on her first 
menstruation among the Zulus between the Tugela and Delagoa Bay. 
At this time the girl is called an intonjane: A beast is killed as a thank- 
offering to the ancestral spirits, high revel is held for several days, and 
dancing and music take place every night till those engaged in it are all 
exhausted or daylight arrives. "After a few days and when dancing has 
been discontinued, young men and girls congregate in the outer apart- 
ment of the hut, and begin singing, clapping their hands, and making a 
grunting noise to show their joy. At nightfall most of the young girls 
who were the intonjane's attendants, leave for their own homes for' the 
night, to return the following morning. Thereafter the young men and 
girls who gathered into the hut in the afternoon separate into pairs 
and sleep together in puris naturalibus, for that is strictly ordained by 
custom. Sexual intercourse is not allowed, but what is known as 
metsha, or ukumetsha is the sole purpose of the novel arrangement. 
Ukumetsha may be defined as partial intercourse. Every man who . 
sleeps thus with a girl has to send to the father of the intonjane an 
assegai; should he have formed an attachment for his partner of the 
night and wish to pay her his addresses, he sends two assegais." (Rev. 
J. Macdonald, "Manners, etc., of South African Tribes," Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute, vol. xx, November, 1890, p. 117.) 

Goncourt reports the account given him by a French officer from 
Senegal of the dances of the women, "a dance which is a gentle oscilla- 
tion of the body, with gradually increasing excitement, from time to 
time a woman darting forward from the group to stand in front of her 
lover, contorting herself as though in a passionate embrace, and, on 
passing her hand between her thighs, showing it covered with the 
moisture of amorous enjoyment." (Journal, vol. ix, p. 79.) The dance 
here referred to is probably the Bamboula dance of the Wolofs, a spring 
festival which has been described by Pierre Loti in his Roman d'un 
Spahi, and concerning which various details are furnished by a French 
army-surgeon, acquainted with Senegal, in his Untrodden Fields of 
Anthropology. The dance, as described by the latter, takes place at 
night during full moon, the dancers, male and female, beginning timidly, 
but, as the beat of the tam-tams and the encouraging cries of the spec- 
tators become louder, the dance becomes more furious. The native 



name of the dance is anamalis fobil, "the dance of the treading drake." 
"The dancer in his movements imitates the copulation of the great 
Indian duck. This drake has a, member of a corkscrew shape, and a 
peculiar movement is required to introduce it into the duck. The 
woman tucks up her clothes and convulsively agitates the lower part 
of her body; she alternately shows her partner her vulva and hides it 
from him by a regular movement, backward and forward, of the body." 
(Untrodden Fields of Anthropology, Paris, 1898, vol. ii, p. 112.) 

Among the Gurus of the Ivory Coast (Gulf of Guinea), Eysserio 
observes, dancing is usually carried on at night and more especially by 
the men, and on certain occasions women must not appear, for if they 
assisted at fetichistic dances "they would die." Under other circum- 
stances men and women dance together with ardor, not forming couples 
but often vis-a-vis: their movements are lascivious. Even the dances 
following a funeral tend to become sexual in character. At the end of 
the rites attending the funeral of a chief's son the entire population 
began to dance with ever-growing ardor; there was nothing ritualistic 
or sad in these contortions, which took on the character of a lascivious 
dance. Men and women, boys and girls, young and old, sought to rival 
each other in suppleness, and the festival became joyous and general, 
as if in celebration of a marriage or a victory. (Eysseric, "La CSte 
d'lvoire," Nouvelles Archives des Missions Scientifiques, tome ix, 1899, 
pp. 241-49.) 

Mrs. French-Sheldon has described the marriage-rites she observed 
at Taveta in East Africa. "During this time the young people dance 
and carouse and make themselves generally merry and promiscuously 
drunk, carrying the excess of their dissipation to such an extent that 
they dance until they fall down in a species of epileptic fit." It is the 
privilege of the bridegroom's four groomsmen to enjoy the bride first, 
and she is then handed over to her legitimate husband. This people, 
both men and women, are "great dancers and merry-makers; the young 
fellows will collect in groups and dance as though in competition one 
with the other; one lad will dash out from the circle of his companions, 
rush into the middle of a circumscribed space, and scream out 'Wow, 
wow!' Another follows him and screams; then a third does the same. 
These men will dance with their knees almost rigid, jumping into the 
air until their excitement becomes very great and their energy almost 
spasmodic, leaving the ground frequently three feet as they spring into 
the air. At some of their festivals their dancing is carried to such an 
extent that I have seen a, young fellow's muscles quiver from head to 
foot and his jaws tremble without any apparent ability on his part to 
control them, until, foaming at the mouth and with his eyes rolling, he 
falls in a paroxysm upon the ground, to be carried off by his compan- 


ions." The writer adds significantly that this dancing "would seem to 
emanate from a species of voluptuousness.'' (Mrs. French-Sheldon, 
"Customs among the Natives of East Africa," Journal of the Anthro- 
pological Institute, vol. xxi, May, 1892, pp. 366-67.) It may be added 
that among the Suaheli dances are intimately associated with 
weddings; the Suaheli dances have been minutely described by Velten 
(Sitte und Gebrdnche der Suaheli, pp. 144-175) . Among the Akamba of 
British East Africa, also, according to H. R. Tate {Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute, Jan.- June, 1904, p. 137), the dances are fol- 
lowed by connection between the young men and girls, approved of by 
the parents. 

The dances of the Faroe Islanders have been described by Raymond 
Pilet ("Rapport sur une Mission en Islande et aux lies Feroe," 
'Nowcelles Archives des Missions Scientifiques, tome vii, 1897, p. 285). 
These dances, which are entirely decorous, include poetry, music, and 
much mimicry, especially of battle. They sometimes last for two con- 
secutive days and nights. "The dance is simply a permitted and dis- 
creet method by which the young men may court the young girls. The 
islander enters the circle and places himself beside the girl to whom 
he desires to show his affection; if he meets with her approval she stays 
and continues to dance at his side; if not, she leaves the circle and 
appears later at another spot.'' 

Pitre {Usi, etc., del Popolo Siciliano, vol. ii, p. 24, as quoted in 
Marro's Puberta) states that in Sicily the youth who wishes to marry 
seeks to give some public proof of his valor and to show himself off. In 
Chiaramonte, in evidence of his virile force, he bears in procession the 
standard of some confraternity, a, high and richly adorned standard 
which makes its staff bend to a semicircle, of such enormous weight that 
the bearer must walk in a painfully bent position, his head thrown back 
and his feet forward. On reaching the house of his betrothed he makes 
proof of his boldness and skill in wielding this extremely heavy standard 
which at this moment seems a plaything in his hands, but may yet 
prove fatal to him through injury to the loins or other parts. 

This same tendency, which we find in so highly developed a degree 
among animals and primitive human peoples, is also universal among 
the children of even the most civilized human races, although in a less 
organized and more confused way. It manifests itself as "showing-off." 
Sanford Bell, in his study of the emotion of love in children, finds that 
"showing-off" is an essential element in the love of children in what he 
terms the second stage (from the eighth to the twelfth year in girls 
and the fourteenth in boys). "It constitutes one of the chief numbers 
in the boy's repertory of love charms, and is not totally absent from 
the girl's. It is a most common sight to see the boys taxing their 


resources in devising means of exposing their own excellencies, and 
often doing the most ridiculous and extravagant things. Running, 
jumping, dancing, prancing, sparring, wrestling, turning handsprings, 
somersaults, climbing, walking fences, swinging, giving yodels and 
yells, whistling, imitating the movements of animals, 'taking people 
off,' courting danger, affecting courage are some of its common forms. 
This 'showing-ofl" in the boy lover is the forerunner of the 
skilful, purposive, and elaborate means of self-exhibition in the adult 
•male and the charming coquetry in the adult female, in their love- 
relations." (Sanford Bell, "The Emotion of Love Between the Sexes," 
American Journal Psychology, July, 1902; cf. "Showing-ofT and Bash- 
fulness," Pedagogical Seminary, June, 1903.) 

If, in the light of the previous discussion, we examine 
such facts as those here collected, we may easily trace through- 
out the perpetual operations of the same instinct. It is every- 
where the instinctive object of the male, who is very rarely 
passive in the process of courtship, to assure by his activity 
in display, his energy or skill or beauty, both his own passion 
and the passion of the female. Throughout nature sexual 
conjugation only takes place after much expenditure of energy. 1 

l The more carefully animals are observed, the more often this is 
found to be the case, even with respect to species which possess no ob- 
vious and elaborate process for obtaining tumescence. See, for instance, 
the detailed and very instructive account — too long to quote here — given 
by E. Selous of the preliminaries to intercourse practised by a pair of 
great crested grebes, while nest-building. Intercourse only took place 
with much difficulty, after many fruitless invitations, more usually 
given by the female. ("Observational Diary of the Habits of the Great 
Crested Grebe," Zoologist, September, 1901.) It is exactly the same 
with savages. The observation of Foley (Bulletin de la Sociite' d' Anthro- 
pologic de Paris, November 6, 1879) that in savages "sexual erethism is 
very difficult" is of great significance and certainly in accordance with 
the facts. This difficulty of erethism is the real cause of many savage 
practices which to the civilized person often seem perverse; the women 
of the Caroline Islands, for instance, as described by Finsch, require 
the tongue or even the teeth to be applied to the clitoris, or a great ant 
to be applied to bite the parts, in order to stimulate orgasm. Wester- 
marck, after quoting a remark of Mariner's concerning the women of 
Tonga, — "it must not be supposed that these women are always easily 
won ; the greatest attentions and the most fervent solicitations are some- 
times requisite, even though there be no other lover in the way," — adds 
that these words "hold true for a great many, not to say all, savage and 
barbarous races now existing." (Human Marriage, p. 163.) The old 
notions, however, as to the sexual licentiousness of peoples living in 
natural conditions have scarcely yet disappeared. See Appendix A: 
"The Sexual Instinct in Savages." 


We are deceived by what we see among highly fed domesticated 
animals, and among the lazy classes of human society, whose 
sexual instincts are at once both unnaturally stimulated and 
unnaturally repressed, when we imagine that the instinct of 
detumescence is normally ever craving to be satisfied, and that 
throughout nature it can always be set off at a touch whenever 
the stimulus is applied. So far from the instinct of tumescence 
naturally needing to be crushed, it needs, on the contrary, in 
either sex to be submitted to the most elaborate and prolonged 
processes in order to bring about those conditions which de- 
tumescence relieves. A state of tumescence is not normally 
constant, and tumescence must be obtained before detumes- 
cence is possible. 1 The whole object of courtship, of the mutual 
approximation and caresses of two persons of the opposite sex, 
is to create the state of sexual tumescence. 

It will be seen that the most usual method of attaining 
tumescence — a method found among the most various kinds of 
animals, from insects and birds to man — is some form of the 
dance. Among the Negritos of the Philippines dancing is de- 
scribed by A. B. Meyer as "jumping in a circle around a girl 
and stamping with the feet"; as we have seen, such a dance' 
is, essentially, a form of courtship that is widespread among 
animals. "The true cake-walk," again, Stanley Hall remarks, 
"as seen in the South is perhaps the purest expression of this 
impulse to courtship antics seen in man." 2 Muscular movement 
of which the dance is the highest and most complex expression, 
is undoubtedly a method of autointoxication of the very greatest 
potency. All energetic movement, indeed, tends to produce 
active congestion. In its influence on the brain violent exercise 
may thus result in a state of intoxication even resembling in- 
sanity. As Lagrange remarks, the visible effects of exercise — 

1 In men a certain degree of tumescence is essential before coitus 
can be effected at all; in women, though tumescence is not essential to 
coitus, it is essential to orgasm and the accompanying physical and 
psychic relief. The preference which women often experience for pro- 
longed coitus is not, as might possibly be imagined, due to sensuality, 
but has a profound physiological basis. 

2 Stanley Hall, Adolescence, vol. i, p. 223. 


heightened color, bright eyes, resolute air and walk — are those 
of slight intoxication, and a girl who has waltzed for a quarter 
of an hour is in the same condition as if she had drunk cham- 
pagne. 1 Groos regards the dance as, above all, an intoxicating 
play of movement, possessing, like other methods of intoxication, 
■ — and even apart from its relationship to combat and love, — 
the charm of being able to draw us out of our everyday life and 
lead us into a self-created dream-world. 2 That the dance is not 
only a narcotic, but also a powerful stimulant, we may clearly 
realize from the experiments which show that this effect is pro- 
duced even by much less complex kinds of muscular movement. 
This has been clearly determined, for instance, by Fere, in the 
course of a long and elaborate series of experiments dealing with 
the various influences that modify work as measured by Mosso's 
ergograph. This investigator found that muscular movement 
is the most efficacious of all stimulants in increasing muscular 
power. 3 It is easy to trace these pleasurable effects of com- 
bined narcotic and stimulant motion in everyday life and it is 
unnecessary to enumerate its manifestations. 4 

1 See Lagrange's Physiology of Bodily Exercise, especially chapter 
ii. It is a significant fact that, as Sergi remarks (Les Emotions, p. 
330), the physiological results of dancing are identical with the physio- 
logical results of pleasure. 

2 Groos, Spiele der Menschen, p. 112. Zmigrodzki {Die Mutter lei 
den Yollcem des Arischen Btammes, p. 414 et seq.) has an interesting 
passage describing the dance — especially the Russian dance — in its 
orgiastic aspects. 

3 Fere, "L'Influence sur le Travail Volontaire d'un muscle de 
FactivitS d'autres muscles," Nouvelles Iconographie de la SaXp&trihre, 

i "The sensation of motion," Kline remarks ( "The Migratory Im- 
pulse," American Journal of Psychology, October, 1898, p. 62), "as yet 
but little studied from a pleasure-pain standpoint, is undoubtedly a 
pleasure-giving sensation. For Aristippus the end of life is pleasure, 
which he defines as gentle motion. Motherhood long ago discovered its 
virtue as furnished by the cradle. Galloping to town on the parental 
knee is a pleasing pastime in every nursery. The several varieties of 
swings, the hammock, see-saw, flying-jenny, merry-go-round, shooting 
the chutes, sailing, coasting, rowing, and skating, together with the 
fondness of children for rotating rapidly in one spot until dizzy and for 
jumping from high places, are all devices and sports for stimulating the 
sense of motion. In most of these modes of motion the body is passive 
or semipassive, save in such motions as skating and rotating on the feet. 


Dancing is so powerful an agent on the organism, as Sergi truly 
remarks {Les Emotions, p. 288), because its excitation is general, be- 
cause it touches every vital organ, the higher centers no longer dominat- 
ing. Primitive dancing differs very widely from that civilized kind of 
dancing — finding its extreme type in the ballet — in which energy is con- 
centrated into the muscles below the knee. In the finest kinds of 
primitive dancing all the limbs, the whole body, take part. For in- 
stance, "the Marquisan girls," Herman Melville remarked in Typee, 
"dance all over, as it were; not only do their feet dance, but their 
arms, hands, fingers,: — ay, their very eyes seem to dance in their heads. 
In good sooth, they so sway their floating forms, arch their necks, toss 
aloft their naked arms, and glide, and swim, and whirl," etc. 

If we turn to a very different people, we find this characteristic of 
primitive dancing admirably illustrated by the missionary, Holden, in 
the case of Kaffir dances. "So far as I have observed," he states, "the 
perfection of the art or science consists in their being able to put every 
part of the body into motion at the same time. And as they are naked, 
the bystander has a good opportunity of observing the whole process, 
which presents a remarkably odd and grotesque appearance, — the head, 
the trunk, the arms, the legs, the hands, the feet, bones, muscles, sinews, 
skin, scalp, and hair, each and all in motion at the same time, with 
feathers waving, tails of monkeys and wild beasts dangling, and shields 
beating, accompanied with whistling, shouting, and leaping. It would 
appear as though the whole frame was hung on springing wires or cords. 
Dances are held in high repute, being the natural expression of joyous 
emotion, or creating it when absent. There is, perhaps, no exercise in 
greater accordance with the sentiments or feelings of a barbarous people, 
or more fully calculated to gratify their wild and ungoverned passions." 
(W. C. Holden, The Kaffir Race, 1866, p. 274.) 

Dancing, as the highest and most complex form of muscular 
movement, is the most potent method of obtaining the organic 
excitement muscular movement yields, and thus we understand 
how from the earliest zoological ages it has been brought to 
the service of the sexual instinct as a mode of attaining tumes- 
cence. Among savages this use of dancing works harmoniously 
with the various other uses which dancing possesses in primi- 

The passiveness of the body precludes any important contribution of 
stimuli from kinesthetic sources. The stimuli are probably furnished, 
as Dr. Hall and others have suggested, by a redistribution of fluid 
pressure (due to the unusual motions and. positions of the body) to the 
inner walls of the several vascular systems of the body." 


tive times and which cause it to occupy so large and vital a 
part in savage life that it may possibly even affect the organism 
to such an extent as to mold the bones; so that some authori- 
ties have associated platycnemia with dancing. As civilization 
advances, the other uses of dancing fall away, but it still re- 
mains a sexual stimulant. Burton, in his Anatomy of Melan- 
choly, brings forward a number of quotations from old authors 
showing that dancing is an incitement to love. 1 

The Catholic theologians (Debreyne, Mwchialogie, pp. 190-199) 
for the most part condemn dancing with much severity. In Protestant 
Germany, also, it is held that dance meetings and musical gatherings 
are frequent occasions of unchastity. Thus in the Leipzig district when 
a girl is asked "How did you fall?" she nearly always replies "At the 
dance." (Die Geschlechtlich-Sittliche Verhaltnisse im Deutschen Beiche, 
vol. i, p. 196.) It leads quite as often, and no doubt oftener, to mar- 
riage. Rousseau defended it on this account (Nouvelle Helo'ise, bk. iv, 
letter x) ; dancing is, he held, an admirable preliminary to courtship, 
and the best way for young people to reveal themselves to each other, in 
their grace and decorum, their qualities and defects, while its publicity 
is its safeguard. An International Congress of Dancing Masters was 
held at Barcelona in 1907. In connection with this Congress, Giraudet, 
president of the International Academy of Dancing Masters, issued an 
inquiry to over 3000 teachers of dancing throughout the world in order 
to ascertain the frequency with which dancing led to marriage. Of over 
one million pupils of dancing, either married or engaged to be married, 
it was found that in most countries more than 50 per cent, met their 
conjugal partners at dances. The smallest proportion was in Norway, 
with only 39 per cent., and the highest, Germany, with 97 per cent. In- 
termediate are France, 83 per cent.; America, 80 per cent.; Italy, 
70 per cent. ; Spain, 68 per cent. ; Holland, Bulgaria, and England, 
65 per cent.; Australia and Roumania, 60 per cent., etc. Of the 
teachers themselves 92 per cent, met their partners at dances. (Quoted 
from the Figaro in Beiblatt "Sexualreform" to Geschlecht und Gesell- 
schaft, 1907, p. 175.) 

In civilization, however, dancing is not only an incitement to 
love and a preliminary to courtship, but it is often a substitute 
for the normal gratification of the sexual instinct, procuring 
something of the pleasure and relief of gratified love. In occa- 

l Anatomy of Melancholy, part iii, sect, ii, mem. ii, subs. iv. 


sional abnormal cases this may be consciously realized. Thus 
Sadger, who regards the joy of dancing as a manifestation of 
"muscular eroticism," gives the case of a married hysterical 
woman of 21, with genital anesthesia, but otherwise strongly 
developed skin eroticism, who was a passionate dancer : "I often 
felt as though I was giving myself to my partner in dancing," she 
said, "and was actually having coitus with him. I have the 
feeling that in me dancing takes the place of coitus." 1 Normally 
something of the same feeling is experienced by many young 
women, who will expend a prodigious amount of energy in danc- 
ing, thus procuring, not fatigue, but happiness and relief. 2 It is 
significant that, after sexual relations have begun, girls generally 
lose much of their ardor in dancing. Even our modern dances, 
it is worthy of note, are often of sexual origin; thus, the most 
typical of all, the waltz, was originally (as Schaller, quoted by 
Groos, states) the close of a complicated dance which "repre- 
sented the romance of love, the seeking and the fleeing, the 
playful sulking and shunning, and finally the jubilation of the 
wedding." 3 

Not only is movement itself a source of tumescence, but 
even the spectacle of movement tends to produce the same 
effect. The pleasure of witnessing movement, as represented 
by its stimulating effect on the muscular system, — for states 
of well-being are accompanied by an increase of power, — has 
been found susceptible of exact measurement by Fere. He 

1 Sadger, "Haut-, Schleimhaut-, und Muskel-erotik," Jahrbuch fur 
psychoanalytische Forschungen, Bd. iii, 1912, p. 556. 

2Marro (Puberta, p. 367 et seq.) has some observations on this 
point. It was an insight into this action of dancing which led the 
Spanish clergy of the eighteenth century to encourage the national en- 
thusiasm for dancing ( as Baretti informs us ) in the interests of morality. 

S It is scarcely necessary to remark that a primitive dance, even 
when associated with courtship, is not necessarily a sexual pantomime; 
as Wallaschek, in his comprehensive survey of primitive dances, observes, 
it is more usually an animal pantomime, but nonetheless connected 
with the sexual instinct, separation of the sexes, also, being no proof 
to the contrary. (Wallaschek, Primitive Music, pp. 211-13.) Grosse 
(Anf tinge der Kunst, English translation, p. 228) has pointed out that 
the best dancer would be the best fighter and hunter, and that sexual 
selection and natural selection would thus work in harmony. 


has shown that to watch a colored disk when in motion produced 
stronger muscular contractions, as measured by the dyna- 
mometer, than to watch the same disk when motionless. Even 
in the absence of color a similar influence of movement was 
noted, and watching a modified metronome produced a greater 
increase of work with the ergograph than when working to the 
rhythm of the metronome without watching it.* This psycho- 
logical fact has been independently discovered by advertisers, 
who seek to impress the value of their wares on the public by 
the device of announcing them by moving colored lights. The 
pleasure given by the ballet largely depends on the same fact. 
Not only is dancing an excitation, but the spectacle of dancing 
is itself exciting, and even among savages dances have a public 
which becomes almost as passionately excited as the dancers 
themselves. 2 It is in virtue of this effect of dancing and similar 
movements that we so frequently find, both among the lower 
animals and savage man, that to obtain tumescence in both 
sexes, it is sufficient for one sex alone, usually the male, to take 
the active part. This point attracted the attention of Kulischer 
many years ago, and he showed how the dances of the men, 
among savages, excite the women, who watch them intently 
though unobtrusively, and are thus influenced in choosing their 
lovers. He was probably the first to insist that in man sexual 
selection has taken place mainly through the agency of dances, 
games, and festivals. 3 

It is now clear, therefore, why the evacuation theory of 
the sexual impulse must necessarily be partial and inadequate. 
It leaves out of account the whole of the phenomena connected 
with tumescence, and those phenomena constitute the most 
prolonged, the most important, the most significant stage of 

i Fere, "Le plaisir de la vue du Mouvement," Comptes-rendus de 
la Societe de Biologie, November 2, 1901; also Travail et Plaisir, ch. 

2Groos repeatedly emphasizes the significance of this fact (Spiele 
der Menschen, pp. 81-9, 460 et seq.) ; Grosse (Anf tinge der Kunst, p. 
215) had previously made some remarks on this point. 

3 M. Kulischer, "Die Geschlechtliche Zuchtwahl bei den Menschen 
in der Urzeit," Zeitschrift fitr Ethnologie, 1876, p. 140 et seq. 


the sexual process. It is during tumescence that the whole 
psychology of the sexual impulse is built up; it is as an inci- 
dent arising during tumescence and influencing its course that 
we must probably regard nearly every sexual aberration. It is 
with the second stage of the sexual process, when the instinct 
of detumescence arises, that the analogy of evacuation can 
alone be called in. Even here, that analogy, though real, is 
not complete, the nervous element involved in detumescence 
being out of all proportion to the extent of the evacuation. 
The typical act of evacuation, however, is a nervous process, 
and when we bear this in mind we may see whatever truth the 
evacuation theory possesses. Beaunis classes the sexual im- 
pulse with the "needs of activity," but under this head he co- 
ordinates it with the "need of urination." That is to say, that 
both alike are nervous explosions. Micturition, like detumes- 
cence, is a convulsive act, and, like detumescence also, it is 
certainly connected with cerebral processes; thus in epilepsy the 
passage of urine which may occur (as in a girl described by 
Gowers with minor attacks during which it was emitted con- 
sciously, but involuntarily) is really a part of the process. 1 
There appears, indeed, to be a special and intimate connec- 
tion between the explosion of sexual detumescence and the 
explosive energy of the bladder ; so that they may reinforce each 
other and to a limited extent act vicariously in relieving each 
other's tension. It is noteworthy that nocturnal and diurnal in- 
continence of urine, as well as "stammering" of the bladder, are 
all specially liable to begin or to cease at puberty. In men and 
even infants, distention of the bladder favors tumescence by 
producing venous congestion, though at the same time it acts 
as a physical hindrance to sexual detumescence 2 ; in women — 
probably not from pressure alone, but from reflex nervous action 
— a full bladder increases both sexual excitement and pleasure, 
and I have been informed by several women that they have 

1 Sir W. R. Gowers, Epilepsy, 2d ed., 1901, pp. 61, 138. 

2 Guyon, Legons Cliniques sur les Maladies des Voies Urinaires, 
3d ed., 1896, vol. ii, p. 397. 


independently discovered this fact for themselves and acted in 
accordance with it. Conversely, sexual excitement increases the 
explosive force of the bladder, the desire to urinate is aroused, 
and in women the sexual orgasm, when very acute and occur- 
ring with a full bladder, is occasionally accompanied, alike in 
savage and civilized life, by an involuntary and sometimes full 
and forcible expulsion of urine. 1 The desire to urinate may 
possibly be, as has been said, the normal accompaniment of 
sexual excitement in women (just as it is said to be in mares; 
so that the Arabs judge that the mare is ready for the stallion 
when she urinates immediately on hearing him neigh). The 
association may even form the basis of sexual obsessions. 2 I 
have elsewhere shown that, of all the influences which increase 
the expulsive force of the bladder, sexual excitement is the most 
powerful. 3 It may also have a reverse influence and inhibit con- 
traction of the bladder, sometimes in association with shyness, 
but also independently of shyness. There is also reason to sup- 

1 See, e.g., Fere, L'Instinct Sexuel, pp. 222-23 : Brant5me was 
probably the first writer in modern times who referred to this phenom- 
enon. Maegillicuddy {Functional Disorders of the Nervous System in 
Women, p. 110) refers to the case of a lady who always had sudden and 
uncontrollable expulsion of urine whenever her husband even began to 
perform the marital act, on which account he finally ceased intercourse 
with her. Kubary states that in Ponape (Western Carolines) the men 
are accustomed to titillate the vulva of their women with the tongue 
until the excitement is so intense that involuntary emission of urine 
takes place; this is regarded as the proper moment for intercourse. 

2 Thus Pitres and Regis { Transactions of the International Medical 
Congress, Moscoio, vol. iv, p. 19) record the case of a young girl whose 
life was for some years tormented by a, groundless fear of experiencing 
an irresistible desire to urinate. This obsession arose from once seeing 
at a theater a man whom she liked, and being overcome by sexual feeling 
accompanied by so strong a desire to urinate that she had to leave the 
theater. An exactly similar case in a young woman of erotic tempera- 
ment, but prudish, has been recorded by Freud (Zur ffeurosenlehre, Bd. 
i, p. 54). Morbid obsessions of modesty involving the urinary sphere 
and appearing at puberty are evidently based on transformed sexual 
emotion. Such a case has been recorded by Marandon de Montyel 
(Archives de Neurologie, vol. xii, 1901, p. 36) ; this lady, who was of 
somewhat neuropathic temperament, from puberty onward, in order to 
be able to urinate found it necessary not only to be absolutely alone, but 
to feel assured that no one even knew what was taking place. 

3 H. Ellis, "The Bladder as a Dynamometer," American Journal of 
Dermatology, May, 1902. 


pose that the nervous energy expended in an explosion of the 
tension of the sexual organs may sometimes relieve the bladder; 
it is well recognized that a full bladder is a factor fn producing 
sexual emissions during sleep, the explosive energy of the bladder 
being inhibited and passing over into the sexual sphere. Con- 
versely, it appears that explosion of the bladder relieves sexual 
tension. An explosion of the nervous centers connected with the 
contraction of the bladder will relieve nervous tension generally ; 
there are forms of epilepsy in which the act of urination con- 
stitutes the climax, and Gowers, in dealing with minor epilepsy, 
emphasizes the frequency of micturition, which "may occur with 
spasmodic energy when there is only the slightest general stiff- 
ness," especially in women. He adds the significant remark 
that it "sometimes seems to relieve the cerebral tension," 1 and 
gives the case of a girl in whom the aura consisted mainly of 
a desire to urinate ; if she could satisfy this the fit was arrested ; 
if not she lost consciousness and a severe fit followed. 

If micturition may thus relieve nervous tension generally, 
it is not surprising that it should relieve the tension of the 
centers with which it is most intimately connected. Serieux 
records the case of a girl of 12, possessed by an impulse to 
masturbation which she was unable to control, although anxious 
to conquer it, who only found relief in the act of urination; 
this soothed her and to some extent satisfied the sexual excite- 
ment; when the impulse to masturbate was restrained the im- 
pulse to urinate became imperative; she would rise four or 
five times in the night for this purpose, and even urinate in 
bed or in her clothes to obtain the desired sexual relief. 2 I am 
acquainted with a lady who had a similar, but less intense, 
experience during childhood. Sometimes, especially in children, 
the act of urination becomes an act of gratification at the climax 

1 Sir W. Gowers, "Minor Epilepsy," British Medical Journal, Jan- 
uary 6, 1900; ib., Epilepsy, 2d ed., 1901, p. 106; see also H. Ellis, art. 
"Urinary Bladder, Influence of the Mind on the," in Tuke's Dictionary 
of Psychological Medicine. 

2 SSrieux, Recherches Oliniques sur les Anomalies de VInstinct 
Sexuel, p. 22. 


of sexual pleasure, the imitative symbol of detumeseence. Thus 
Schultze-Malkowsky describes a little girl of 7 who would bribe 
her girl companions with little presents to play the part of 
horses on all fours while she would ride on their necks with 
naked thighs in order to obtain the pleasurable sensation of 
close contact. With one special friend she would ride facing 
backward, and leaning forward to embrace her body impulsively, 
and at the same time pressing the neck closely between her 
thighs, would urinate. 1 F'ere has recorded the interesting ease 
of a man who, having all his life after puberty been subject to 
monthly attacks of sexual excitement, after the age of 45 com- 
pletely lost the liability to these manifestations, but found him- 
self subject, in place of them, to monthly attacks of frequent and 
copious urination, accompanied by sexual clay-dreams, but by no 
genital excitement. 2 Such a case admirably illustrates the com- 
pensatory relation of sexual and vesical excitation. This mutual 
interaction is easily comprehensible when we recall the very close 
nervous connection which exists between the mechanisms of the 
sexual organs and the bladder. 

Nor are such relationships found to be confined to these 
two centers; in a lesser degree the more remote explosive cen- 
ters are also affected; all motor influences may spread to re- 
lated muscles; the convulsion of laughter, for instance, seems 
to be often in relation with the sexual center, and Groos has 
suggested that the laughter which, especially in the sexually 
minded, often follows allusions to the genital sphere is merely 
an effort to dispel nascent sexual excitement by liberating an 
explosion of nervous energy in another direction. 3 Nervous 

1 Emil Schultze-Malkowsky, "Der Sexuelle Trieb in Kindesalter," 
Geschlecht und Oesellschaft, vol. ii, part 8, p. 372. 

2 Fere, "Note sur un Cas de Periodicitg Sexuelle chez l'Homme," 
Comptes-rendus Socitte de Biologie, July 23, 1904. 

3 It is a familiar fact that, in women, occasionally, a violent ex- 
plosion of laughter may be propagated to the bladder-center and produce 
urination. "She laughed till she nearly wetted the floor," I have 
heard a young woman in the country say, evidently using without 
thought a familiar locution. Professor Bechterew has recorded the case 
of a young married lady who, from childhood, wherever she might be — 
in friends' houses, in the street, in her own drawing-room — had always 


discharges tend to spread, or to act vicariously, because the 
motor centers are more or less connected. 1 Of all the physio- 
logical motor explosions, the sexual orgasm, or detumescence, 
is the most massive, powerful, and overwhelming. So volcanic 
is it that to the ancient Greek philosophers it seemed to be a 
minor kind of epilepsy. The relief of detumescence is not 
merely the relief of an evacuation; it is the discharge, by the 
most powerful apparatus for nervous explosion in the body, 
of the energy accumulated and stored up in the slow process 
of tumescence, and that discharge reverberates through all the 
nervous centers in the organism. 

"The sophist of Abdera said that coitus is a slight fit of epilepsy, 
judging it to be an incurable disease." (Clement of Alexandria, Pceda- 
gogus, bk. ii, chapter x.) And Ccelius Aurelianus, one of the chief 
physicians of antiquity, said that "coitus is a brief epilepsy." Fere has 
pointed out that both these forms of nervous storm are sometimes ac- 
companied by similar phenomena, by subjective sensations of sight or 
smell, for example; and that the two kinds of discharge may even bei 
combined. (F6r6, Les Epileptiques, pp. 283-84; also "Exces VSnSriens 
et Epilepsie," Comptes-rendus de la SoeMte" de Biologie, April 3, 1897, 
and the same author's Instinct Sexuel, pp. 209, 221, and his "Priapisme 

experienced an involuntary and forcible emission of urine, which could 
not be stopped or controlled, whenever she laughed; the bladder was 
quite sound and no muscular effort produced the same result. (W. 
Bechterew, Weurologisches Centralblatt, 1899.) In women these rela- 
tionships are most easily observed, partly because in them the explosive 
centers are more easily discharged, and partly, it is probable, so far as 
the bladder is concerned, because, although after death the resistance to 
the emission of urine is notably less in women, during life about the 
same amount of force is necessary in both sexes; so that a greater 
amount of energy flows to the bladder in women, and any nervous storm 
or disturbance is thus specially apt to affect the bladder. 

l "Every pain," remarks Marie de ManacSine, " produces a number 
of movements which are apparently useless: we cry out, we groan, we 
move our limbs, we throw ourselves from one side to the other, and at 
bottom all these movements are logical because by interrupting and 
breaking our attention they render us less sensitive to the pain. In the 
days before chloroform, skillful surgeons requested their patients to cry 
out during 'Jie operation, as we are told by Gratiolet, who could not ex- 
plain so strange a fact, for in his time the antagonism of movements and 
attention was not recognized." ( Marie de Manacgine, Archives Italiennes 
de Biologie, 1894, p. 250.) This antagonism of attention by movement 
is but another way of expressing the vicarious relationship of motor 


Epileptique," La Medecine Moderne, February 4, 1899.) The epileptic 
convulsion in some cases involves the sexual mechanism, and it is note- 
worthy that epilepsy tends to appear at puberty. In modern times even 
so great a physician as Boerhaave said that coitus is » "true epilepsy," 
and more recently Roubaud, Hammond, and Kowalevsky have empha- 
sized the resemblance between coitus and epilepsy, though without 
identifying the two states. Some authorities have considered that coitus 
is a cause of epilepsy, but this is denied by Christian, Strumpell, and 
Lowenfeld. (Lowenfeld, Sexualleben und N ervemleiden, 1899, p. 68.) 
Fere has recorded the case of a youth in whom the adoption of the 
practice of masturbation, several times a day, was followed by epileptic 
attacks which ceased when masturbation was abandoned. (Fere, 
Comptes-rendus de la Societe de Biologie, April 3, 1897.) 

It seems unprofitable at present to attempt any more funda- 
mental analysis of the sexual impulse. Beaunis, in the work 
already quoted, vaguely suggests that we ought possibly to con- 
nect the sexual excitation which leads the male to seek the 
female with chemical action, either exercised directly on the 
protoplasm of the organism or indirectly by the intermediary 
of the nervous system, and especially by smell in the higher 
animals. Clevenger, Spitzka, Kiernan, and others have also 
regarded the sexual impulse as protoplasmic hunger, tracing 
it back to the presexual times when one protozoal form absorbed 
another. In the same way Joanny Eoux, insisting that the, 
sexual need is a need of the whole organism, and that "we 
love with the whole of our body," compares the sexual instinct 
to hunger, and distinguishes between "sexual hunger" affecting 
the whole system and "sexual appetite" as a more localized 
desire; he concludes that the sexual need is an aspect of the 
nutritive need. 1 Useful as these views are as a protest against 
too crude and narrow a conception of the part played by the 
sexual impulse, they carry us into a speculative region where 
proof is difficult. 

l Joanny Eoux, Psychologie de VInstinct Sexuel, 1899, pp. 22-23. 
It is disputed whether hunger is located in the whole organism, and 
powerful arguments have been brought against the view. (W. Cannon, 
"The Nature of Hunger,'' Popular Science Monthly, Sept., 1912.) Thirst 
is usually regarded as organic (A. Mayer, La Soif, 1901). 


We are now, however, at all events, in a better position 
to define the contents of the sexual impulse. We see that there 
are certainly, as Moll has indicated, two constituents in that 
impulse; but, instead of being unrelated, or only distantly 
related, we see that they are really so intimately connected as 
to form two distinct stages in the same process: a first stage, 
in which — usually under the parallel influence of internal and 
external stimuli — images, desires, and ideals grow up within 
the mind, while the organism generally is charged with energy 
and the sexual apparatus congested with blood; and a second 
stage, in which the sexual apparatus is discharged amid pro- 
found sexual excitement, followed by deep organic relief. By 
the first process is constituted the tension which the second 
process relieves. It seems best to call the first impulse the 
process of tumescence ; the second the process of detumescence. 1 
The first, taking on usually a more active form in the male, 
has the double object of bringing the male himself into the 
condition in which discharge becomes imperative, and at the 
same time arousing in the female a similar ardent state of 
•emotional excitement and sexual turgescence. The second proc- 
ess has the object, directly, of discharging the tension thus 
produced and, indirectly, of effecting the act by which the race 
is propagated. 

It seems to me that this is at present the most satisfactory 
way in which we can attempt to define the sexual impulse. 

l If there is any objection to these terms it is chiefly because they 
have reference to vascular congestion rather than to the underlying 
nervous charging and discharging, which is equally fundamental, and in 
man more prominent than the vascular phenomena. 


The Chief Key to the Relationship between Love and Pain to be 
Found in Animal Courtship — Courtship a Source of Combativity and of 
Cruelty — Human Play in the Light of Animal Courtship — The Fre- 
quency of Crimes Against the Person in Adolescence — Marriage by 
Capture and its Psychological Basis — Man's Pleasure in Exerting Force 
and Woman's Pleasure in Experiencing it — Resemblance of Love to Pain 
even in Outward Expression — The Love-bite — In what Sense Pain may 
be Pleasurable — The Natural Contradiction in the Emotional Attitude 
of Women Toward Men — Relative Insensibility to Pain of the Organic 
Sexual Sphere in Women — The Significance of the Use of the Ampallang 
and Similar Appliances in Coitus — The Sexual Subjection of Women to 
Men in Part Explainable as the Necessary Condition for Sexual Pleasure. 

The relation of love to pain is one of the most difficult 
problems, and yet one of the most fundamental, in the whole 
range of sexual psychology. Why is it that love inflicts, and 
even seeks to inflict, pain? Why is it that love suffers pain, 
and even seeks to suffer it? In answering that question, it 
seems to me, we have to take an apparently circuitous route, 
sometimes going beyond the ostensible limits of sex altogether; 
but if we can succeed in answering it we shall have come very 
near one of the great mysteries of love. At the same time we 
shall have made clear the normal basis on which rest the 
extreme aberrations of love. 

The chief key to the relationship of love to pain is to 
be found by returning to the consideration of the essential phe- 
nomena of courtship in the animal world generally. Court- 
ship is a play, a game; even its combats are often, to a large 
extent, mock-combats; but the process behind it is one of 
terrible earnestness, and the play may at any moment become 
deadly. Courtship tends to involve a mock-combat between 
males for the possession of the female which may at any time 
become a real combat; it is a pursuit of the female by the 


male which, ma} - at an} - time become a kind of persecution ; 
so that, as Colin Scott remarks, "Courting may be looked upon 
as a refined and delicate form of combat." The note of court- 
ship, more especially among mammals, is very easily forced, 
and as soon as we force it we reach pain. 1 The intimate and 
inevitable association in the animal world of combat — of the 
fighting and hunting impulses — with the process of courtship 
alone suffices to bring love into close connection with pain. 

Among mammals the male wins the female very largely 
by the display of force. The infliction of pain must inevitably 
be a frequent indirect result of the exertion of power. It is 
even more than this; the infliction of pain by the male on the 
female may itself be a gratification of the impulse to exert 
force. This tendency has always to be held in check, for it 
is of the essence of courtship that the male should win the 
female, and she can only be won by the promise of pleasure. 
The tendency of the male to inflict pain must be restrained, 
so far as the female is concerned, by the consideration of what 
is pleasing to her. Yet, the more carefully we study the essen- 
tial elements of courtship, the clearer it becomes that, playful 
as these manifestations may seem on the surface, in every direc- 
tion they are verging on pain. It is so among animals generally ; 
it is so in man among savages. "It is precisely the alliance of 
pleasure and pain," wrote the physiologist Burdach, "which con- 
stitutes the voluptuous emotion." 

Xor is this emotional attitude entirely confined to the male. 
The female also in courtship delights to arouse to the highest 
degree in the male the desire for her favors and to withhold 

l Various mammals, carried away by the reckless fury of the sex- 
ual impulse, are apt to ill-treat their females (R. JliiUer, Sexualbiologie, 
p. 123 ) . This treatment is, however, usually only an incident of court- 
ship, the result of excess of ardor. "The chaffinches and saffron-finches 
(Fringella and Sycalis) are very rough wooers," says A. G. Butler 
{Zoologist, 1902, p. 241) ; '"they sing vociferously, and chase their hens 
violently, knocking them over in their flight, pursuing and savagely 
pecking them even on the ground; but when once the hens become 
submissive, the males change their tactics, and become for the time 
model husbands, feeding their wives from their crop, and assisting in 
rearing the young." 


those favors from him, thus finding on her part also the enjoy- 
ment of power in cruelty. "One's cruelty is one's power," 
Millanient says in Congreve's Way of the World, "and when 
one parts with one's cruelty one parts with one's power." 

At the outset, then, the impulse to inflict pain is brought 
into courtship, and at the same time rendered a pleasurable 
idea to the female, because with primitive man, as well as 
among his immediate ancestors, the victor in love has been the 
bravest and strongest rather than the most beautiful or the most 
skilful. Until he can fight he is not reckoned a man and he 
cannot hope to win a woman. Among the African Masai a 
man is not supposed to marry until he has blooded his spear, 
and in a very different part of the world, among the Dyaks of 
Borneo, there can be little doubt that the chief incentive to 
head-hunting is the desire to please the women, the possession 
of a head decapitated by himself being an excellent way of 
winning a maiden's favor. 1 Such instances are too well known 
to need multiplication here; and they survive in civilization, 
for, even among ourselves, although courtship is now chiefly 
ruled by quite other considerations, most women are in some 
degree emotionally affected by strength and courage. But the 
direct result of this is that a group of phenomena with which 
cruelty and the infliction of pain must inevitably be more or 
less allied is brought within the sphere of courtship and ren- 
dered agreeable to women. Here, indeed, we have the source 
of that love of cruelty which some have found so marked in 
women. This is a phase of courtship which helps us to under- 
stand how it is that, as we shall see, the idea of pain, having 
become associated with sexual emotion, may be pleasurable to 

Thus, in order to understand the connection between love 
and pain, we have once more to return to the consideration, 
under a somewhat new aspect, of the fundamental elements 
in the sexual impulse. In discussing the "Evolution of Mod- 
esty" we found that the primary part of the female in court- 

l Cf. A. C. Haddon, Bead Hunters, p. 107. 


ship is the playful, yet serious, assumption of the role of a 
hunted animal who lures on the pursuer, not with the object 
of escaping, but with the object of being finally caught. In 
considering the "Analysis of the Sexual Impulse" we found 
that the primary part of the male in courtship is by the dis- 
play of his energy and skill to capture the female or to arouse 
in her an emotional condition which leads her to surrender 
herself to him, this process itself at the same time heightening 
his own excitement. In the playing of these two different parts 
is attained in both male and female that charging of nervous 
energy, that degree of vascular tumescence, necessary for ade- 
quate discharge and detumescence in an explosion by which 
sperm-cells and germ-cells are brought together for the propa- 
gation of the race. We are now concerned with the necessary 
interplay of the differing male and female roles in courtship, 
and with their accidental emotional by-products. Both male and 
female are instinctively seeking the same end of sexual union at 
the moment of highest excitement. There cannot, therefore, 
be real conflict. 1 But there is the semblance of a conflict, an 
apparent clash of aim, an appearance of cruelty. Moreover, — 
and this is a significant moment in the process from our present 
point of view, — when there are rivals for the possession of one 
female there is always a possibility of actual combat, so tending 
to introduce an element of real violence, of undisguised cruelty, 
which the male inflicts on his rival and which the female views 
with satisfaction and delight in the prowess of the successful 
claimant. Here we are brought close to the zoological root of 
the connection between love and pain. 2 

1 Marco considers that there may be transference of emotion, — the 
impulse of violence generated in the male by his rivals being turned 
against his partner, — according to a. tendency noted by Sully and illus- 
trated by Ribot in his Psychology of the Emotions, part i, chapter xii. 

2 Several writers have found in the facts of primitive animal 
courtship the explanation of the connection between love and pain. 
Thus, Krafft-Ebing (Psyohopathia Sexualis, English translation of 
tenth German edition, p. 80) briefly notes that outbreaks of sadism are 
possibly atavistic. Marro [La Puberta, 1898, p. 219 et seq.) has some 
suggestive pages on this subject. It would appear that this explanation 
was vaguely outlined by JSiger. Laserre, in a Bordeaux thesis mentioned 


In his admirable work on play in man Groos has fully 
discussed the plays of combat (Kampfspiele) , which begin to 
develop even in childhood and assume full activity during ado- 
lescence; and he points out that, while the impulse to such 
play certainly has a wider biological significance, it still pos- 
sesses a relationship to the sexual life and to the rivalries of 
animals in courtship which must not be forgotten. 1 

Nor is it only in play that the connection between love 
and combativity may still be traced. With the epoch of the 
first sexual relationship, Marro points out, awakes the instinct 
of cruelty, which prompts the youth to acts which are some- 
times in absolute contrast to his previous conduct, and leads 
him to be careless of the lives of others as well as of his own 
life. 2 Marro presents a diagram showing how crimes against 

by F6r6, has argued in the same sense. Fere {L'Instinct Sexuel, p. 134), 
on grounds that are scarcely sufficient, regards this explanation as 
merely a superficial analogy. But it is certainly not a complete ex- 

1 Schafer (JahrMcher fur Psychologie, Bd. ii, p. 128, and quoted 
by TCrafft-Ebing in Psychopathia Sexualis ) , in connection with a case in 
which sexual excitement was produced by the sight of battles or of 
paintings of them, remarks: "The pleasure of battle and murder is so 
predominantly an attribute of the male sex throughout the animal 
kingdom that there can be no question about the close connection be- 
tween this side of the masculine character and male sexuality. I believe 
that I can show by observation that in men who are absolutely normal, 
mentally and physically, the first indefinite and incomprehensible pre- 
cursors of sexual excitement may be induced by reading exciting scenes 
of chase and war. These give rise to unconscious longings for a kind 
of satisfaction in warlike games (wrestling, etc.) which express the 
fundamental sexual impulse to close and complete contact with a com- 
panion, with a secondary more or less clearly defined thought of con- 
quest." Groos (Hpiele der Mcnschen, 1899, p. 232) also thinks there is 
more or less truth in this suggestion of a subconscious sexual element 
in the playful wrestling combats of boys. Freud considers (Drei 
Abhandlungen zwr Sexualtheorie, p. 49) that the tendency to sexual 
excitement through muscular activity in wrestling, etc., is one of the 
roots of sadism. I have been told of normal men who feel a conscious 
pleasure of this kind when lifted in games, as may happen, for instance, 
in football. It may be added that in some parts of the world the suitor 
has to throw the girl in a wrestling-bout in order to secure her hand. 

2 A minor manifestation of this tendency, appearing even in quite 
normal and well-conditioned individuals, is the impulse among boys at 
and after puberty to take pleasure in persecuting and hurting lower 
animals or their own young companions. Some youths display a dia- 


the person in Italy rise rapidly from the age of 16 to 20 and 
reach a climax between 21 and 25. In Paris, Gamier states, 
crimes of blood are six times more frequent in adolescents (aged 
16 to 20) than in adults. It is the same elsewhere. 1 This 
tendency to criminal violence during the age-period of courtship 
is a by-product of the sexual impulse, a kind of tertiary sexual 

In the process of what is commonly termed "marriage by 
capture" we have a method of courtship which closely resem- 
bles the most typical form of animal courtship, and is yet found 
in all but the highest and most artificial stages of human so- 
ciety. It may not be true that, as MaeLennan and others have 
argued, almost every race of man has passed through an actual 
stage of marriage by capture, but the phenomena in question 
have certainly been extremely widespread and exist in popular 
custom even among the highest races today. George Sand 
has presented a charming picture of such a custom, existing in 
France, in her Mare au Diable. Farther away, among the 
Kirghiz, the young woman is pursued by all her lovers, but 
she is armed with a formidable whip, which she does not hesi- 
tate to use if overtaken by a lover to whom she is not favor- 
able. Among the Malays, according to early travelers, court- 
ship is carried on in the water in canoes with double-bladed 
paddles; or, if no water is near, the damsel, stripped naked of 
all but a waistband, is given a certain start and runs off on foot 
followed by her lover. Vaughan Stevens in 1896 reported that 
this performance is merely a sport; but Skeat and Blagden, in 
their more recent and very elaborate investigations in the Malay 
States, find that it is a rite. 

bolical enjoyment and ingenuity in torturing sensitive juniors, and even 
a boy who is otherwise kindly and considerate may find enjoyment in 
deliberately mutilating a frog. In some cases, in boys arid youths who 
have no true sadistic impulse and are not usually cruel, this infliction 
of torture on a. lower animal produces an erection, though not neces- 
sarily any pleasant sexual sensations. 

iMarro, La Puberta, 1898, p. 223; Gamier, "La Criminalitg 
Juvenile," Comptes-rendus Oongrds Internationale d'Anthropologie 
Criminelle, Amsterdam, 1901, p. 296; Archivio di Psichiatria, 1899, 
fasc. v-vi, p. 572. 


Even if we regard "marriage by capture" as simply a primi- 
tive human institution stimulated by tribal exigencies and early 
social conditions, yet, when we recall its widespread and per- 
sistent character, its close resemblance to the most general 
method of courtship among animals, and the emotional tend- 
encies which still persist even in the most civilized men and 
women, we have to recognize that we are in presence of a real 
psychological impulse which cannot fail in its exercise to intro- 
duce some element of pain into love. 

There are, however, two fundamentally different theories 
concerning "marriage by capture." According to the first, that 
of MacLennan, which, until recently, has been very widely ac- 
cepted, and to which Professor Tylor has given the weight of 
his authority, there has really been in primitive society a recog- 
nized stage in which marriages were effected by the capture 
of the wife. Such a state of things MacLennan regarded as 
once world-wide. There can be no doubt that women very fre- 
quently have been captured in this way among primitive peoples. 
Nor, indeed, has the custom been confined to savages. In Europe 
we find that even up to comparatively recent times the abduction 
of women was not only very common, but was often more or 
less recognized. In England it was not until Henry VII's time 
that the violent seizure of a woman was made a criminal offense, 
and even then the statute was limited to women possessed of 
lands and goods. A man might still carrj r off a girl provided 
she was not an heiress; but even the abduction of heiresses 
continued to be common, and in Ireland remained so until the 
end of the eighteenth century. But it is not so clear that such 
raids and abductions, even when not of a genuinely hostile char- 
acter, have ever been a recognized and constant method of 

According to the second set of theories, the capture is not 
real, but simulated, and may be accounted for by psychological 
reasons. Fustel de Coulanges, in La Cite Antique, 1 discussing 
simulated marriage by capture among the Eomans, mentioned the 

l Bk. ii, ch. ii. 


view that it was "a symbol of the young girl's modesty," but 
himself regarded it as an act of force to symbolize the husband's 
power. He was possibly alluding to Herbert Spencer, who sug- 
gested a psychological explanation of the apparent prevalence 
of marriage by capture based on the supposition that, capturing 
a wife being a proof of bravery, such a method of obtaining a 
wife would be practised by the strongest men and be admired, 
while, on the other hand, he considered that "female coyness" was 
"an important factor" in constituting the more formal kinds of 
marriage by capture ceremonial. 1 Westermarck, while accepting 
true marriage by capture, considers that Spencer's statement 
"can scarcely be disproved." 2 In his valuable study of certain 
aspects of primitive marriage Crawley, developing the explana- 
tion rejected by Pustel de Coulanges, regards the fundamental 
fact to be the modesty of women, which has to be neutralized, 
and this is done by "a ceremonial use of force, which is half real 
and half make-believe." Thus the manifestations are not sur- 
vivals, but "arising in a natural way from normal human feel- 
ings. It is not the tribe from which the bride is abducted, nor, 
primarily, her family and kindred, but her sex'' ; and her "sexual 
characters of timidity, bashfulness, and passivity are sym- 
pathetically overcome by make-believe representations of male 
characteristic actions." 3 

It is not necessary for the present purpose that either of 
these two opposing theories concerning the origin of the cus- 
toms and feelings we are here concerned with should be defi- 
nitely rejected. Whichever theory is adopted, the fundamental 
psychic element which here alone concerns us still exists in- 

1 Herbert Spencer, Principles of Sociology, 1876, vol. i, p. 651. 

2 Westermarck, Human Marriage, p. 388. Grosse is of the same 
opinion; he considers also that the mock-eapture is often an imitation, 
due to admiration, of real capture; he does not believe that the latter 
has ever been a form of marriage recognized by custom and law, but 
only "an occasional and punishable act of violence." (Die Formen der 
Familie, pp. 105-7.) This position is too extreme. 

3 Ernest Crawley, The Mystic Rose, 1902, p. 350 et seq. Van 
Gennep rightly remarks that we cannot correctly say that the woman is 
abducted from "her sex," but only from her "sexual society." 


tact. 1 It may be pointed out, however, that we probably have 
to accept two groups of such phenomena : one, seldom or never 
existing as the sole form of marriage, in which the capture is 
real ; and another in which the "capture" is more or less cere- 
monial or playful. The two groups coexist among the Turco- 
mans, as described by Vambery, who are constantly capturing 
and enslaving the Persians of both sexes, and, side by side with 
this, have a marriage ceremonial of mock-capture of entirely 
playful character. At the same time the two groups some- 
times overlap, as is indicated by cases in which, while the 
"capture" appears to be ceremonial, the girl is still allowed to 
escape altogether if she wishes. The difficulty of disentangling 
the two groups is shown by the fact that so careful an in- 
vestigator as Westermarck cites cases of real capture and mock- 
capture together without attempting to distinguish between them. 
From our present point of view it is quite unnecessary to at- 
tempt such a distinction. Whether the capture is simulated 
or real, the man is still playing the masculine and aggressive 
part proper to the male ; the woman is still playing the feminine 
and defensive part proper to the female. The universal prev- 
alence of these phenomena is due to the fact that manifestations 
of this kind, real or pretended, afford each sex the very best 
opportunity for playing its proper part in courtship, and so, 
even when the force is real, must always gratify a profound 

It is not necessary to quote examples of marriage by capture from 
the numerous and easily accessible books on the evolution of marriage. 
(Sir A. B. Ellis, adopting MacLennan's standpoint, presented a, c leise 
statement of the facts in an article on "Survivals from Marriage by 
Capture," Popular Science Monthly, 1891, p. 207.) It may, however, be 
worth while to bring together from scattered sources a few of the facts 
concerning the phenomena in this group and their accompanying emo- 

i A. Van Gennep {Kites de Passage, 1909, pp. 175-186) has put for- 
ward a third theory, though also of a psychological character, according 
to which the "capture" is a rite indicating the separation of the young 
girl from the special societies of her childhood. Gennep regards this rite 
as one of a vast group of "rites of passage," which come into action 
whenever a person changes his social or natural environment. 


tional state, more especially as they bear on the association of love with 
force, inflicted or suffered. 

In New Caledonia, Foley remarks, the successful coquette goes off 
with her lover into the bush. "It usually happens that, when she is 
successful, she returns from her expedition, tumbled, beaten, scratched, 
even bitten on the nape and shoulders, her wounds thus bearing witness 
to the quadrupedal attitude she has assumed amid the foliage." (Foley, 
Bulletin de la Sociite a* 'Anthropologic, Paris, November 6, 1879.) 

Of the natives of New South Wales, Turnbull remarked at the be- 
ginning of the nineteenth century that "their mode of courtship is not 
without its singularity. When a, young man sees a female to his fancy 
he informs her she must accompany him home; the lady refuses; he not 
only enforces compliance with threats but blows; thus the gallant, ac- 
cording to the custom, never fails to gain the "victory, and bears off 
the willing, though struggling pugilist. The colonists for some time 
entertained the idea that the women were compelled and forced away 
against their inclinations; but the young ladies informed them that this 
mode of gallantry was the custom, and perfectly to their taste." (J. 
Turnbull, A Voyage Round the World, 1813, p. 98; cf. Brough Smyth, 
Aborigines of Victoria, 1878, vol. i, p. 81.) 

As regards capture of women among Central Australian tribes, 
Spencer and Gillen remark: "We have never in any of these central 
tribes met with any such thing, and the clubbing part of the story may 
be dismissed, so far as the central area of the continent is concerned. 
To the casual observer what looks like a capture (we are, of course, 
only speaking of these tribes) is in reality an elopement, in which the 
woman is an aiding and abetting party." (Northern Tribes of Central 
Australia, p. 32.) 

"The New Zealand method of courtship and matrimony is a. most 
extraordinary one. A man sees a woman whom he fancies he should 
like for a wife; he asks the consent of her father, or, if an orphan, of 
her nearest relative, which, if he obtain, he carries his intended off by 
force, she resisting with all her strength, and, as the New Zealand girls 
are generally fairly robust, sometimes a dreadful struggle takes place; 
both are soon stripped to the skin and it is sometimes the work of 
hours to remove the fair prize a hundred yards. It sometimes happens 
that she secures her retreat into her father's house, and the lover loses 
all chance of ever obtaining her." (A. Earle, Narratives of Residence in 
New Zealand, 1832, p. 244.) 

Among the Eskimos (probably near Smith Sound) "there is no 
marriage ceremony further than that the boy is required to carry off 
his bride by main force, for even among these blubber-eating people the 
woman only saves her modesty by a show of resistance, although she 


knows years beforehand that her destiny is sealed and that she is to 
become the wife of the man from whose embraces, when the nuptial day 
comes, she is obliged by the inexorable law of public opinion to free 
herself, if possible, by kicking and screaming with might and main until 
she is safely landed in the hut of her future lord, when she gives up the 
combat very cheerfully and takes possession of her new abode. The 
betrothal often takes place at a very early period of life and at very 
dissimilar ages." Marriage only takes place when the lover has killed 
his first seal; this is the test of manhood and maturity. (J. J. Hayes, 
Open Polar Sea,, 1867, p. 43?.) 

Marriage by "capture" is common in war and raiding in central 
Africa. "The women, as a rule," Johnston says, "make no very great 
resistance on these occasions. It is almost like playing a game. A 
woman is surprised as she goes to get water at the stream, or when she 
is on the way to or from the plantation. The man has only got to 
show her she is cornered and that escape is not easy or pleasant and she 
submits to be carried off. As a, general rule, they seem to accept very 
cheerfully these abrupt changes in their matrimonial existence." (Sir 
H. H. Johnston, British Central Africa, p. 412.) 

Among the wild tribes of the Malay Peninsula in one form of 
wedding rite the bridegroom is required to run seven times around an 
artificial mound decorated with flowers and the emblem of the people's 
religion. In the event of the bridegroom failing to catch the bride the 
marriage has to be postponed. Among the Orang Laut, or sea-gipsies, 
the pursuit sometimes takes the form of » canoe-race; the woman is 
given a good start and must be overtaken before she has gone a, certain 
distance. (W. W. Skeat, Journal Anthropological Institute, Jan.- June, 
1902, p. 134; Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay, vol. ii, 
p. 69 et seq., fully discuss the ceremony around the mound.) 

"Calmuck women ride better than the men. A male Calmuek on 
horseback looks as if he was intoxicated, and likely to fall off every in- 
stant, though lie never loses his seat; but the women sit with more 
ease, and ride with extraordinary skill. The ceremony of marriage 
among the Calmucks is performed on horseback. A girl is first mounted, 
who rides off at full speed. Her lover pursues, and if he overtakes her 
she becomes his wife and the marriage is consummated upon the spot, 
after which she returns with him to his tent. But it sometimes happens 
that the woman does not wish to marry the person by whom she is 
pursued, in which ease she will not suffer him to overtake her; and we 
were assured that no instance occurs of a Calmuck girl being thus 
caught, unless she has a partiality for her pursuer. If she dislikes him, 
she rides, to use the language of English sportsmen, 'neck or nothing,' 
until she has completely escaped or until the pursuer's horse is tired 


out, leaving her at liberty to return, to be afterward chased by some 
more favored admirer." (E. D. Clarke, Travels, 1810, vol. i, p. 333.) 

Among the Bedouins marriage is arranged between the lover and 
the girl's father, often without consulting the girl herself. "Among the 
Arabs of Sinai the young maid comes home in the evening with the 
cattle. At a short distance from the camp she is met by the future 
spouse and a couple of his young friends and carried off by force to her 
father's tent. If she entertains any suspicion of their designs she de- 
fends herself with stones, and often inflicts wounds on the young men, 
even though she does not dislike the lover, for, according to custom, 
the more she struggles, bites, kicks, cries, and strikes, the more she is 
applauded ever after by her own companions." After being taken to her 
father's tent, where a man's cloak is thrown over her by one of the 
bridegroom's relations, she is dressed in garments provided by her future 
husband, and placed on a camel, "still continuing to struggle in a most 
unruly manner, and held by the bridegroom's friends on both sides." She 
is then placed in a recess of the . husband's tent. Here the marriage is 
finally consummated, "the bride still continuing to cry very loudly. It 
sometimes happens that the husband is obliged to tie his bride, and even 
to beat her, before she can be induced to comply with his desires." If, 
however, she really does not like her husband, she is perfectly free to 
leave him next morning, and her father is obliged to receive her back 
whether he wishes to or not. It is not considered proper for a widow 
or divorced woman to make any resistance on being married. (J. L. 
Burckhardt, Xotes on the Bedouins and "Wahabys, 1830, p. 149 et seq.) 
_ Among the Turcomans forays for capturing and enslaving their 
Persian neighbors were once habitual. Vambery describes their "mar- 
riage ceremonial when the young maiden, attired in bridal costume, 
mounts a high-bred courser, taking on her lap the carcass of a, lamb or 
goat, and setting off at full gallop, followed by the bridegroom and other 
young men of the party, also on horseback; she is always to strive, by 
adroit turns, etc., to avoid her pursuers, that no one approach near 
enough to snatch from her the burden on her lap. This game, called 
kbkbiiri (green wolf), is in use among all the nomads of central Asia." 
(A. Vambery, Travels in Central Asia, 1864, p. 323.) 

In China, a missionary describes how, when he was called upon 
to marry the daughter of a Chinese Christian brought up in native 
customs, he was compelled to wait several hours, as the bride refused 
to get up and dress until long after the time appointed for the wedding 
ceremony, and then only by force. "Extreme reluctance and dislike 
and fear are the true marks of a happy and lively wedding." (A. E. 
Moule, New China and Old, p. 128.) 

It is interesting to find that in the Indian art of love a kind of 
mock-combat, accompanied by striking, is » recognized and normal 


method of heightening tumescence. Vatsyayana has a chapter "On 
Various Manners of Striking," and he approves of the man striking the 
woman on the back, belly, flanks, and buttocks, before and during coitus, 
as a kind of play, increasing as sexual excitement increases, which the 
woman, with cries and groans, pretends to bid the man to stop. It is 
mentioned that, especially in southern India, various instruments 
(scissors, needles, etc.) are used in striking, but this practice is con- 
demned as barbarous and dangerous. {Kama Sutra, French translation, 
iii, chapter v.) 

In the story of Aladdin, in the Arabian Nights, the bride is un- 
dressed by the mother and the other women, who place her in the 
bridegroom's bed "as if by force, and, according to the custom of the 
newly married, she pretends to resist, twisting herself in every direc- 
tion, and seeking to escape from their hands." (Les Mille Nuits, tr. 
Mardrus, vol. xi, p. 253.) 

It is said that in those parts of Germany where preliminary 
Probendchte before formal marriage are the rule it is not uncommon 
for a young woman before finally giving herself to a man to provoke 
him to a physical struggle. If she proves stronger she dismisses him; 
if he is stronger she yields herself willingly. (W. Henz, "Probenachte," 
Bexual-ProMeme, Oct., 1910, p. 743.) 

Among the South Slavs of Servia and Bulgaria, according to 
Krauss, it is the custom to win a woman by seizing her by the ankle 
and bringing her to the ground by force.. This method of wooing is to 
the taste of the woman, and they are refractory to any other method. 
The custom of beating or being beaten before coitus is also found 
among the South Slavs. ( Kpinrrddia, vol. vi, p. 209.) 

In earlier days violent courtship was viewed with approval in 
the European world, even among aristocratic circles. Thus in the medi- 
eval Lai de Gradient of Marie de France this Breton knight is represented 
as very chaste, possessing a high ideal of love and able to withstand the 
wiles of women. One day when he is hunting in a forest he comes upon 
a naked damsel bathing, together with her handmaidens. Overcome by 
her beauty, he seizes her clothes in ease she should be alarmed, but is 
persuaded to hand them to her; then he proceeds to make love to her. 
She replies that his love is an insult to a. woman of her high lineage. 
Finding her so proud, Graglent sees that his prayers are in vain. He 
drags her by force into the depth of the forest, has his will of her, and 
begs her very gently not to be angry, promising to love her loyally and 
never to leave her. The damsel saw that he was a good knight, cour- 
teous, and wise. She thought within herself that if she were to leave 
him she would never find a better friend. 

Brantome mentions a lady who confessed that she liked to be 
"half-forced" by her husband, and he remarks that a woman who is "a 

10VE AND PAIN. 79 

little difficult and resists" gives more pleasure also to her lover than 
one who yields at once, just as a hard-fought battle is a more notable 
triumph than an easily won victory. (BrantBme, Vie des Dames 
Galantes, discours i.) Restif de la Bretonne, again, whose experience 
was extensive, wrote in his Anti-Justine that "all women of strong 
temperament like a sort of brutality in sexual intercourse and its 

Ovid had said that a little force is pleasing to a woman, and that 
she is grateful to the ravisher against whom she struggles {Ars Amor 
toria, lib. i). One of Janet's patients (Raymond and Janet, Les 
Obsessiotis et la Psychasthenic, vol. ii, p. 406) complained that her 
husband was too good, too devoted. "He does not know how to make 
me suffer a little. One cannot love anyone who does not make one 
suffer a little." Another hysterical woman (a silk fetichist, frigid with 
men) had dreams of men and animals abusing her: "I cried with pain 
and was happy at the same time." ( Clerambault, Archives d'Anthro- 
pologie Criminelle, June, 1908, p. 442.) 

It has been said that among Slavs of the lower class the wives 
feel hurt if they are not beaten by their husbands. Paullinus, in the 
seventeenth century, remarked that Russian women are never more 
pleased and happy than when beaten by their husbands, and regard 
such treatment as proof of love. (See, e.g., C. F. von Schlichtegroll, 
Sacher-Masoch und der Masochismus, p. 69.) Krafft-Ebing believes that 
this is true at the present day, and adds that it is the same in Hungary, 
a Hungarian official having informed him that the peasant women of 
the Somogyer Comitate do not think they are loved by their husbands 
until they have received the first box on the ear. (Krafft-Ebing, 
Psychopathia Sexualis, English translation of the tenth edition, p. 188.) 
I may add that a Russian proverb says "Love your wife like your soul 
and beat her like your shuba" (overcoat) ; and, according to another 
Russian proverb, "a dear one's blows hurt not long." At the same time 
it has been remarked that the domination of men by women is peculiarly 
frequent among the Slav peoples. (V. Schlichtegroll, op. cit., p. 23.) 
Cellini, in an interesting passage in his Life (book ii, chapters xxxiv- 
xxxv), describes his own brutal treatment of his model Caterina, who 
was also his mistress, and the pleasure which, to his surprise, she took 
in it. Dr. Simon Forman, also, the astrologist, tells in his Autobiog- 
raphy (p. 7) how, as a young and puny apprentice to a hosier, he was 
beaten, scolded, and badly treated by the servant girl, but after some 
years of this treatment he turned on her, beat her black and blue, and 
ever after "Mary would do for him all that she could." 

That it is a sign of love for a man to beat his sweetheart, and 
a sign much appreciated by women, is illustrated by the episode of 
Cariharta and Repolido, in "Rinconete and Cortadillo," one of Cervantes's 


Exemplary Novels. The Indian women of South America feel in the 
same way, and Mantegazza when traveling in Bolivia found that they 
complained when they were not beaten by their husbands, and that a 
girl was proud when she could say "He loves me greatly, for he often 
beats me." {Fisiologia delta Donna, chapter xiii.) The same feeling 
evidently existed in classic antiquity, for we find Lucian, in his 
"Dialogues of Courtesans," makes » woman say: "He who has not 
rained blows on his mistress and torn her hair and her garments is not 
yet in love/' while Ovid advises lovers sometimes to be angry with 
their sweethearts and to tear their dresses. 

Among the Italian Camorrista, according to Russo, wives are very 
badly treated. Expression is given to this fact in the popular songs. 
But the women only feel themselves tenderly loved when they are badly 
treated by their husbands; the man who does not beat them they look 
upon as a fool. It is the same in the east end of London. "If anyone 
has doubts as to the brutalities practised on women by men," writes a 
London magistrate, "let him visit the London Hospital on a Saturday 
night. Very terrible sights will meet his eye. Sometimes as many as 
twelve or fourteen women may be seen seated in the receiving room, 
waiting for their bruised and bleeding faces and bodies to be attended 
to. In nine cases out of ten the injuries have been inflicted by brutal 
and perhaps drunken husbands. The nurses tell me, however, that any 
remarks they may make reflecting on the aggressors are received with 
great indignation . by the wretched sufferers. They positively will not 
hear a single word against the cowardly ruffians. 'Sometimes,' said a 
nurse to me, 'when I have told a woman that her husband is a brute, 
she has drawn herself up and replied: "You mind your own business, 
miss. We find the rates and taxes, and the likes of you are paid out 
of 'em to wait on us."'" (Montagu Williams, Round London, p. 79.) 

"The prostitute really loves her souteneur, notwithstanding all the 
persecutions he inflicts on her. Their torments only increase the devo- 
tion of the poor slaves to their 'Alphonses.' Parent-Duchatelet wrote 
that he had seen them come to the hospital with their eyes out of their 
heads, faces bleeding, and bodies torn by the blows of their drunken 
lovers, but as soon as they were healed they went back to them. Police- 
officers tell us that it is very difficult to make a prostitute confess any- 
thing concerning her souteneur. Thus, Rosa L., whom her 'Alphonse' 
had often threatened to kill, even putting the knife to her throat, would 
say nothing, and denied everything when the magistrate questioned her. 
Maria R., with her face marked by a terrible scar produced by her 
souteneur, still carefully preserved many years afterward the portrait 
of the aggressor, and when we asked her to explain her affection she 
replied: 'But he wounded me because he loved me.' The souteneur's 
brutality only increases the ill-treated woman's love; the humiliation 


and slavery in which the woman's soul is drowned feed her love." (Nice- 
foro, II Gergo, etc., 1897, p. 128.) 

In a modern novel written in autobiographic form by a young 
Australian lady the heroine is represented as striking her betrothed with 
a whip when he merely attempts to kiss her. Later on her behavior 
so stings him that his self-control breaks down and he seizes her fiercely 
by the arms. For the first time she realizes that he loves her. "I 
laughed a joyous little laugh, saying 'Hal, we are quits'; when on dis- 
robing for the night I discovered on my soft white shoulders and arms— 
so susceptible to bruises — many marks, and black. It had been a very- 
happy day for me." (Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career.) 

It is in large measure the existence of this feeling of attraction 
for violence which accounts for the love-letters received by men who are 
accused of crimes of violence. Thus in one instance, in Chicago (as 
Dr. Kiernan writes to me), "a man arrested for conspiracy to commit 
abortion, and also suspected of being a sadist, received many proposals 
of marriage and other less modest expressions of affection from unknown 
women. To judge by the signatures, these women belonged to the 
Germans and Slavs rather than to the Anglo-Celts." 

Neuropathic or degenerative conditions sometimes serve to accent- 
uate or reveal ancestral traits that are very ancient in the race. Under 
such conditions the tendency to find pleasure in subjection and pain, 
which is often faintly traceable even in normal civilized women, may 
become more pronounced. This may be seen in a case described in 
some detail in the ArcMvio di PsicMatria. The subject was a young 
lady of 19, of noble Italian birth, but born in Tunis. On the maternal 
side there is a somewhat neurotic heredity, and she is herself subject to 
attacks of hystero-epileptoid character. She was very carefully, but 
strictly, educated; she knows several languages, possesses marked in- 
tellectual aptitudes, and is greatly interested in social and political 
questions, in which she takes the socialistic and revolutionary side. She 
has an attractive and sympathetic personality; in complexion she is 
dark, with dark eyes and very dark and abundant hair; the fine down 
on the upper lip and lower parts of the cheeks is also much developed; 
the jaw is large, the head acrocephalic, and the external genital organs 
of normal size, but rather asymmetric. Ever since she was a, child she 
has loved to work and dream in solitude. Her dreams have always 
been of love, since menstruation began as early as the age of 10, and 
accompanied by strong sexual feelings, though at that age these feelings 
remained vague and indefinite; but in them the desire for pleasure was 
always accompanied by the desire for pain, the desire to bite and 
destroy something, and, as it were, to annihilate herself. She experi- 
enced great relief after periods of "erotic rumination," and if this rumi- 



nation took place at night she would sometimes masturbate, the contact 
of the bedclothes, she said, giving her the illusion of a man. In time 
this vague longing for the male gave place to more definite desires for 
a man who would love her, and, as she imagined, strike her. Event- 
ually she formed secret relationships with two or three lovers in succes- 
sion, each of these relationships being, however, discovered by her family 
and leading to ineffectual attempts at suicide. But the association of 
pain with love, which had developed spontaneously in her solitary 
dreams, continued in her actual relations with her lovers. During 
coitus she would bite and squeeze her arms until the nails penetrated 
the flesh. When her lover asked her why at the moment of coitus she 
would vigorously repel him, she replied: "Because I want to be pos- 
sessed by force, to be hurt, suffocated, to be thrown down in a struggle." 
At another time she said: "I want a man with all his vitality, so that 
he can torture and kill my body.'' We seem to see here clearly the 
ancient biological character of animal courtship, the desire of the 
female to be violently subjugated by the male. In this case it was 
united to sensitiveness to the sexual domination of an intellectual man, 
and the subject also sought to stimulate her lovers' intellectual tastes. 
(Archivio di Psichiatria, vol. xx, fasc. 5-6, p. 528.) 

This association between love and pain still persists even 
among the most normal civilized men and women possessing 
well-developed sexual impulses. The masculine tendency to 
delight in domination, the feminine tendency to delight in sub- 
mission, still maintain the ancient traditions when the male 
animal pursued the female. The phenomena of "marriage by 
capture," in its real and its simulated forms, have been traced 
to various causes. But it has to be remembered that these 
causes could only have been operative in the presence of a 
favorable emotional aptitude, constituted by the zoological his- 
tory of our race and still traceable even today. To exert power, 
as psychologists well recognize, is one of our most primary 
impulses, and it always tends to be manifested in the attitude 
of a man toward the woman he loves. 1 

lFere (L'Instinct Sexuel, p. 133) appears to regard the satisfac- 
tion, based on the sentiment of personal power, which may be experi- 
enced in the suffering and subjection of a victim as an adequate 
explanation of the association of pain with love. This I can scarcely 
admit. It is a factor in the emotional attitude, but when it only exists 
in the sexual sphere it is reasonable to base this attitude largely on 


It might be possible to maintain that the primitive element 
of more or less latent cruelty in courtship tends to be more 
rather than less marked in civilized man. In civilization the 
opportunity of dissipating the surplus energy of the courtship 
process by inflicting pain on rivals usually has to be inhibited; 
thus the woman to be wooed tends to become the recipient of the 
whole of this energy, both in its pleasure-giving and its pain- 
giving aspects. Moreover, the natural process of courtship, as it 
exists among animals and usually among the lower human races, 
tends to become disguised and distorted in civilization, as well 
by economic conditions as by conventional social conditions and 
even ethical prescription. It becomes forgotten that the woman's 
pleasure is an essential element in the process of courtship. A 
woman is often reduced to seek a man for the sake of main- 
tenance; she is taught that pleasure is sinful or shameful, that 
sex-matters are disgusting, and that it is a woman's duty, and 
also her best policy, to be in subjection to her husband. Thus, 
various external checks which normally inhibit any passing over 
of masculine sexual energy into cruelty are liable to be removed. 

We have to admit that a certain pleasure in manifesting 
his power over a woman by inflicting pain upon her is an out- 
come and survival of the primitive process of courtship, and 
an almost or quite normal constituent of the sexual impulse in 
man. But it must be at once added that in the normal well- 
balanced and well-conditioned man this constituent of the sexual 
impulse, when present, is always held in check. When the 
normal man inflicts, or feels the impulse to inflict, some degree 
of physical pain on the woman he loves he can scarcely be said 
to be moved by cruelty. He feels, more or less obscurely, that 
the pain he inflicts, or desires to inflict, is really a part of his 
love, and that, moreover, it is not really resented by the woman 

the still more fundamental biological attitude of the male toward the 
female in the process of courtship. Fere regards this biological element 
as merely a superficial analogy, on the ground that an act of cruelty 
may become an equivalent of coitus. But a sexual perversion is quite 
commonly constituted by the selection and magnification of a, single 
moment in the normal sexual process. 


on whom it is exercised. His feeling is by no means always 
according to knowledge, but it has to be taken into account as 
an essential part of his emotional state. The physical force, 
the teasing and bullying, which he may be moved to exert under 
the stress of sexual excitement, are, he usually more or less 
unconsciously persuades himself, not really unwelcome to the 
object of his love. 1 Moreover, we have to bear in mind the 
fact — a very significant fact from more than one point of view — 
that the normal manifestations of a woman's sexual pleasure are 
exceedingly like those of pain. "The outward expressions of 
pain," as a lady very truly writes, — "tears, cries, etc., — which 
are laid stress on to prove the cruelty of the person who inflicts 
it, are not so different from those of a woman in the ecstasy of 
passion, when she implores the man to desist, though that is 
really the last thing she desires." 2 If a man is convinced that 
he is causing real and unmitigated pain, he becomes repentant 
at once. If this is not the case he must either be regarded as a 
radically abnormal person or as carried away by passion to a 
point of temporary insanity. 

The intimate connection of love with pain, its tendency 
to approach cruelty, is seen in one of the most widespread of 
the occasional and non-essential manifestations of strong sexual 
emotion, especially in women, the tendency to bite. We may 
find references to love-bites in the literature of ancient as well 
as of modern times, in the East as well as in the West. Plautus, 
Catullus, Propertius, Horace, Ovid, Petronius, and other Latin 
writers refer to bites as associated with kisses and usually on the 
lips. Plutarch says that Plora, the mistress of Cnaeus Pompey, 
in commending her lover remarked that he was so lovable that 

1 The process may, however, be quite conscious. Tims, a corre- 
spondent tells me that he not only finds sexual pleasure in cruelty 
toward the woman he loves, but that he regards this as an essential 
element. He is convinced that it gives the woman pleasure, and that 
it is possible to distinguish by gesture, inflection of voice, etc., an hys- 
terical, assumed, or imagined feeling of pain from real pain. He would 
not wish to give real pain, and would regard that as sadism. 

2 De Sade had already made the same remark, while Duchenne, of 
Boulogne, pointed out that the facial expressions of sexual passion and 
of cruelty are similar. 


she could never leave him without giving him a bite. In the 
Arabic Perfumed Garden there are many references to love-bites, 
while in the Indian Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana a chapter is 
devoted to this subject. Biting in love is also common among 
the South Slavs. 1 The phenomenon is indeed sufficiently familiar 
to enable Heine, in one of his Romancero, to describe those 
marks by which the ancient chronicler states that Edith Swan- 
neck recognized Harold, after the Battle of Hastings, as the 
scars of the bites she had once given him. 

It would be fanciful to trace this tendency back to that 
process of devouring to which sexual congress has, in the 
primitive stages of its evolution, been reduced. But we may 
probably find one of the germs of the love-bite in the attitude 
of many mammals during or before coitus; in attaining a firm 
grip of the female it is not uncommon (as may be observed in 
the donkey) for the male to seize the female's neck between 
his teeth. The horse sometimes bites the mare before coitus and 
it is said that among the Arabs when a mare is not apt for 
coitus she is sent to pasture with a small ardent horse, who 
excites her by playing with her and biting her. 2 It may be 
noted, also, that dogs often show their affection for their masters 
by gentle bites. Children also, as Stanley Hall has pointed out, 
are similarly fond of biting. 

Perhaps a still more important factor is the element of 
combat in tumescence, since the primitive conditions associated 
with tumescence provide a reservoir of emotions which are con- 
stantly drawn on even in the sexual excitement of individuals 
belonging to civilization. The tendency to show affection by 
biting is, indeed, commoner among women than among men 
and not only in civilization. It has been noted among idiot 
girls as well as among the women of various savage races. 
It may thus be that the conservative instincts of women have 
preserved a primitive tendency that at its origin marked the 
male more than the female. But in any case the tendency to 

1 KpurrdSta, vol. vi, p. 208. 

2 Daumas, Chevaux de Sahara, p. 49. 


bite at the climax of sexual excitement is so common and wide- 
spread that it must be regarded, when occurring in women, as 
coming within the normal range of variation in such manifesta- 
tions. The gradations are of wide extent; while in its slight 
forms it is more or less normal and is one of the origins of the 
kiss, 1 in its extreme forms it tends to become one of the most 
violent and antisocial of sexual aberrations. 

A correspondent writes regarding his experience of biting and 
being bitten : "I have often felt inclination to bite a woman I love, even 
when not in coitus or even excited. (I like doing so also with my little 
boy, playfully, as a cat and kittens.) There seem to be several reasons 
for this : ( 1 ) the muscular effect relieves me ; ( 2 ) I imagine I am 
giving the woman pleasure; (3) I seem to attain to a more intimate 
possession of the loved one. I cannot remember when I first felt desire 
to be bitten in coitus, or whether the idea was first suggested to me. 
I was initiated into pinching by a French prostitute who once pinched 
my nates in coitus, no doubt as » matter of business; it heightened my 
pleasure, perhaps by stimulating muscular movement. It does not 
occur to me to ask to be pinched when I am very much excited already, 
but only at an earlier stage, no doubt with the object of promoting 
excitement. Apart altogether from sexual excitement, being pinched 
is unpleasant to me. It has not seemed to me that women usually 
like to be bitten. One or two women have bitten and sucked my flesh. 
( The latter does not affect me. ) I like being bitten, partly for the 
same reason as I like being pinched, because if spontaneous it is a sign 
of my partner's amorousness and the biting never seems too hard. 
Women do not usually seem to like being bitten, though there are 
exceptions; T should like to bite you and I should like you to bite me,' 
said one woman; I did so hard, in coitus, and she did not flinch." 
"She is particularly anxious to eat me alive," another correspondent 
writes, "and nothing gives her greater satisfaction than to tear open my 
clothes and fasten her teeth into my flesh until I yell for mercy. My 
experience has generally been, however," the same correspondent con- 
tinues, "that the cruelty is unconscious. A woman just grows mad 
with the desire to squeeze or bite something, with a complete uncon- 
sciousness of what result it will produce in the victim. She is. astonished 
when she sees the result and will hardly believe she has done it." It is 
unnecessary to accumulate evidence of a tendency which is sufficiently 
common to be fairly well known, but one or two quotations may be 

i See in vol. iv of these Studies ("Sexual Selection in Man"), 
Appendix A, on "The Origins of the Kiss." 


presented to show its wide distribution. In the Kama Sutra we read: 
"If she is very exalted, and if in the exaltation of her passionate trans- 
ports she begins a sort of combat, then she takes her lover by the hair, 
draws his head to hers, kisses his lower lip, and then in her delirium 
bites him all over his body, shutting her eyes"; it is added that with 
the marks of sueli bites lovers can remind each other of their affections, 
and that such love will last for ages. In Japan the maiden of Ainu race 
feels the same impulse. A. H. Savage Landor (Alone utith the Bairy 
Ainu, 1893, p. 140) says of an Ainu girl: "Loving and biting went to- 
gether with her. She could not do the one without the other. As 
we sat on a stone in the twilight she began by gently biting my fingers 
without hurting me, as affectionate dogs do to their masters. She then 
bit my arm, then my shoulder, and when she had worked herself up 
into a passion she put her arms around my neck and bit my cheeks. It 
was undoubtedly a curious way of making love, and, when I had been 
bitten all over, and was pretty tired of the new sensation, we retired to 
our respective homes. Kissing, apparently, was an unknown art to her.'' 
The significance of biting, and the close relationship which, as will 
have to be pointed out later, it reveals to other phenomena, may be 
illustrated by some observations which have been made by Alonzi on 
the peasant women of Sicily. "The women of the people," he remarks, 
"especially in the districts where crimes of blood are prevalent, give 
vent to their affection for their little ones by kissing and sucking them 
on the neck and arms till they make them cry convulsively; all the 
while they say : 'How sweet you are ! I will bite you, I will gnaw you 
all over,' exhibiting every appearance of great pleasure. If a child com- 
mits some slight fault they do not resort to simple blows, but pursue it 
through the street and bite it on the face, ears, and arms until the 
"blood flows. At such moments the face of even a beautiful woman is 
transformed, with injected eyes, gnashing teeth, and convulsive tremors. 
Among both men and women a very common threat is 'I will drink your 
"blood.' It is told on ocular evidence that a man who had murdered 
another in a quarrel licked the hot blood from the victim's hand." (G. 
Alonzi, Archivio di Psichiatria, vol. vi, fasc. 4.) A few years ago a, 
nurse girl in New York was sentenced to prison for cruelty to the baby 
in her charge. The mother had frequently noticed that the child was 
in pain and at last discovered the marks of teeth on its legs. The girl 
admitted that she had bitten the child because that action gave her 
intense pleasure. (Alienist and Neurologist, August, 1901, p. 558.) In 
the light of such observations as these we may understand a morbid 
perversion of affection such as was recorded in the London police news 
some years ago (1894). A man of 30 was charged with ill-treating his 
wife's illegitimate daughter, aged 3, during a period of many months; 
her lips, eyes, and hands were bitten and bruised from sucking, and 


sometimes her pinafore was covered with blood. "Defendant admitted 
he had hitten the child because he loved it." 

It is not surprising that such phenomena as these should some- 
times be the stimulant and accompaniment to the sexual act. Ferriani 
thus reports such a case in the words of the young man's mistress: 
"Certainly he is a strange, maddish youth, though he is fond of me and 
spends money on me when he has any. He likes much sexual inter- 
course, but, to tell the truth, he has worn out my patience, for before 
our embraces there are always struggles which become assaults. He 
tells me he has no pleasure except when he sees me crying on account 
of his bites and vigorous pinching. Lately, just before going with me, 
when I was groaning with pleasure, he threw himself on me and at the 
moment of emission furiously bit my right cheek till the blood came. 
Then he kissed me and begged my pardon, but would do it again if the 
wish took him." (L. Ferriani, Archivio di Psioopatie BessuaJe, vol. i, 
fase. 7 and 8, 1896, p. 107.) 

In morbid cases biting may even become a substitute for coitus. 
Thus, Moll {'Die Kontrare Sexualempfindung, second edition, p. 323) 
records the case of a, hysterical woman who was sexually anesthetic, 
though she greatly loved her husband. It was her chief delight to bite 
him till the blood flowed, and she was content if, instead of coitus, he 
bit her and she him, though she was grieved if she inflicted much pain. 
In other still more morbid cases the fear of inflicting pain is more or 
less abolished. 

An idealized view of the impulse of love to bite and devour is pre- 
sented in the following passage from a letter by a. lady who associates 
this impulse with the idea of the Last Supper: "Your remarks about 
the Lord's Supper in 'Whitman' make it natural to me to tell you my 
thoughts about that 'central sacrament of Christianity.' I cannot tell 
many people because they misunderstand, and a clergyman, a very great 
friend of mine, when I once told what I thought and felt, said I was 
carnal. He did not understand the divinity and intensity of human 
love as I understand it. Well, when one loves anyone very much, — a 
child, a woman, or a man, — one loves everything belonging to him: the 
things he wears, still more his hands, and his face, every bit of his body. 
We always want to have all, or part, of him as part of ourselves. Hence 
the expression : I could devour you, I love you so. In some such warm, 
devouring way Jesus Christ, 'I have always felt, loved each and every 
human creature. So it was that he took this mystery of food, which by 
eating became part of ourselves, as the symbol of the most intense 
human love, the most intense Divine love. Some day, perhaps, love 
will be so understood by all that this sacrament will cease to be a, 
superstition, a bone of contention, an 'article' of the church, and be- 
come, in all simplicity, a symbol of pure love." 


While in men it is possible to trace a tendency to inflict 
pain, or the simulacrum of pain, on the women they love, it 
is still easier to trace in women a delight in experiencing phys- 
ical pain when inflicted by a lover, and an eagerness to accept 
subjection to his will. Such a tendency is certainly normal. 
To abandon herself to her lover, to be able to rely on his 
physical strength and mental resourcefulness, to be swept out 
of herself and beyond the control of her own will, to drift idly 
in delicious submission to another and stronger will — this is 
one of the commonest aspirations in a young woman's intimate 
love-dreams. In our own age these aspirations most often only 
find their expression in such dreams. In ages when life was 
more nakedly lived, and emotion more openly expressed, it 
was easier to trace this impulse. In the thirteenth century 
we have found Marie de France — a French poetess living in 
England who has been credited with "an exquisite sense of the 
generosities and delicacy of the heart," and whose work was 
certainly highly appreciated in the best circles and among the 
most . cultivated class of her day — describing as a perfect, wise, 
and courteous knight a man who practically commits a rape 
on a woman who has refused to have anything to do with him, 
and, in so acting, he wins her entire love. The savage beauty 
of New Caledonia furnishes no better illustration of the fas- 
cination of force, for she, at all events, has done her best to 
court the violence she undergoes. In Middleton's Spanish 
Gypsy we find exactly the same episode, and the unhappy Portu- 
guese nun wrote : "Love me for ever and make me suffer still 
more." To find in literature more attenuated examples of the 
same tendency is easy. Shakespeare, whose observation so little 
escaped, has seldom depicted the adult passion of a grown woman, 
but in the play which he has mainly devoted to this subject he 
makes Cleopatra refer to "amorous pinches," and she says in 
the end : "The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, which hurts 
and is desired." "I think the Sabine woman enjoyed being 
carried off like that," a woman remarked in front of Eubens's 
"Eape of the Sabines," confessing that such a method of love- 


making appealed strongly to herself, and it is probable that 
the majority of women would be prepared to echo that remark. 

It may be argued that pain cannot give pleasure, and that when 
what would usually be pain is felt as pleasure it cannot be regarded as 
pain at all. It must be admitted that the emotional state is often some- 
what complex. Moreover, women by no means always agree in the 
statement of their experience. It is noteworthy, however, that even 
when the pleasurableness of pain in love is denied it is still admitted 
that, under some circumstances, pain, or the idea of pain, is felt as 
pleasurable. I am indebted to a, lady for a, somewhat elaborate dis- 
cussion of this subject, which I may here quote at length : "As regards 
physical pain, though the idea of it is sometimes exciting, I think the 
reality is the reverse. A very slight amount of pain destroys my 
pleasure completely. This was the ease with me for fully a month 
after marriage, and since. When pain has occasionally been associated 
with passion, pleasure has been sensibly diminished. I can imagine 
that, when there is a want of sensitiveness so that the tender kiss or 
caress might fail to give pleasure, more forcible methods are desired; 
but in that case what would be pain to a sensitive person would be only 
a pleasant excitement, and it could not be truly said that such obtuse 
persons liked pain, though they might appear to do so. I cannot think 
that anyone enjoys what is pain to them, if only from the fact that it 
detracts and divides the attention. This, however, is only my own 
idea drawn from my own negative experience. No woman has ever 
told me that she would like to have pain inflicted on her. On the other 
hand, the desire to inflict pain seems almost universal among men. I 
have only met one man in whom I have never at any time been able to 
detect it. At the same time most men shrink from putting their ideas 
into practice. A friend of my husband finds his chief pleasure in 
imagining women hurt and ill-treated, but is too tender-hearted ever 
to inflict pain on them in reality, even when they are willing to submit 
to it. Perhaps a woman's readiness to submit to pain to please a man 
may sometimes be taken for pleasure in it. Even when women like the 
idea of pain, I fancy it is only because it implies subjection to the man, 
from association with the fact that physical pleasure must necessarily 
be preceded by submission to his will." 

In a subsequent communication this lady enlarged and perhaps 
somewhat modified her statements on this point: — 

"I don't think that what I said to you was quite correct. Actual 
pain gives me no pleasure, yet the idea of pain does, if inflicted by way 
of discipline and for the ultimate good of the person suffering it. This 
is essential. For instance, I once read a poem in which the devil and 
the lost souls in hell were represented as recognizing that they could not 


be good except under torture, but that while suffering the purifying 
actions' of the flames of hell they so realized the beauty of holiness that 
they submitted willingly to their agony and praised God for the stern- 
ness of his judgment. This poem gave me decided physical pleasure, 
yet I know that if my hand were held in a fire for five minutes I should 
feel, nothing but the pain of the burning. To get the feeling of 
pleasure, too, I must, for the moment, revert to my old religious beliefs 
and my old notion that mere suffering has an elevating influence; one's 
emotions are greatly modified by one's beliefs. When I was about 
fifteen I invented u, game which I played with a younger sister, in 
which we were supposed to be going through a process of discipline and 
preparation for heaven after death. Each person was supposed to enter 
this state on dying and to pass successively into the charge of different 
angels named after the special virtues it was their function to instill. 
The last angel was that of Love, who governed solely by the quality 
whose name he bore. In the lower stages, we were under an angel called 
Severity who prepared us by extreme harshness and by exacting implicit 
obedience to arbitrary orders for the acquirement of later virtues. Our 
duties were to superintend the weather, paint the sunrise and sunset, 
etc., the constant work involved exercising us in patience and submis- 
sion. The physical pleasure came in in inventing and recounting to 
each other our day's work and the penalties and hardships we had been 
subjected to. We never told each other that we got any physical 
pleasure out of this, and I cannot therefore be sure that my sister did 
so; I only imagine she did because she entered so heartily into the 
spirit of the game. I could get as much pleasure by imagining myself 
the angel and inflicting the pain, under the conditions mentioned; but 
my sister did not like this so much, as she then had no companion in 
subjection. I could not, however, thus reverse my feelings in regard to 
a man, as it would appear to me unnatural, and, besides, the greater 
physical strength is essential in the superior position. I can, however, 
by imagining myself a man, sometimes get pleasure in conceiving my- 
self as educating and disciplining a woman by severe measures. There 
is, however, no real cruelty in this idea, as I always imagine her liking it. 
"I only get pleasure in the idea of a woman submitting herself 
to pain and harshness from the man she loves when the following 
conditions are fulfilled: 1. She must be absolutely sure of the man's 
love. 2. She must have perfect confidence in his judgment. 3. The pain 
must be deliberately inflicted, not accidental. 4. It must be inflicted 
in kindness and for her own improvement, not in anger or 'with any 
revengeful feelings, as that would spoil one's ideal of the man. 5. The 
pain must not be excessive and must be what when we were children we 
used to call a, 'tidy' pain; i.e., there must be no mutilation, cutting, etc. 
6. Last, one would have to feel very sure of one's own influence over 


the man. So much for the idea. As I have never suffered pain under a 
combination of all these conditions, I have no right to say that I should 
or should not experience pleasure from its infliction in reality." 

Another lady writes : "I quite agree that the idea of pain may be 
pleasurable, but must be associated with something to be gained by it. 
My experience is that it [coitus] does often hurt for a few moments, 
but that passes and the rest is easy; so that the little hurt is nothing 
terrible, but all the same annoying if only for the sake of a few minutes' 
pleasure, which is not long enough. I do not know how my experience 
compares with other women's, but I feel sure that in my case the time 
needed is longer than usual, and the longer the better, always, with 
me. As to liking pain — no, I do not really like it, although I can 
tolerate pain very well, of any kind; but I like to feel force and 
strength; this is usual, I think, women being — or supposed to be — 
passive in love. I have not found that 'pain at once kills pleasure.' " 

Again, another lady briefly states that, for her, pain has a mental 
fascination, and that such pain as she has had she has liked, but that, 
if it had been any stronger, pleasure would have been destroyed. 

The evidence thus seems to point, with various shades of grada- 
tion, to the conclusion that the idea or even the reality of pain in sexual 
emotion is welcomed by women, provided that this element of pain 
is of small amount and subordinate to the pleasure which is to follow 
it. Unless coitus is fundamentally pleasure the element of pain must 
necessarily be unmitigated pain, and a craving for pain unassoeiated 
with a greater satisfaction to follow it cannot be regarded as normal. 

In this connection I may refer to a suggestive chapter on "The 
Enjoyment of Pain" in Hirn's Origins of Art. "If we take into ac- 
count," says Him, "the powerful stimulating effect which is produced 
by acute pain, we may easily understand why people submit to momen- 
tary unpleasantness for the sake of enjoying the subsequent excite- 
ment. This motive leads to the deliberate creation, not only of pain- 
sensations, but also of emotions in which pain enters as an element. 
The violent activity which is involved in the reaction against fear, and 
still more in that against anger, affords us a sensation of pleasurable 
excitement which is well worth the cost of the passing unpleasantness. 
It is, moreover, notorious that some persons have developed a peculiar 
art of making the initial pain of anger so transient that they can enjoy 
the active elements in it with almost undivided delight. Such an accom- 
plishment is far more difficult in the case of sorrow. . The 
creation of pain-sensations may be explained as a desperate device for 
enhancing the intensity of the emotional state." 

The relation of pain and pleasure to emotion has been thoroughly 
discussed, I may add, by II. R. Marshall in his Pain, Pleasure, and 
Esthetics. He contends that pleasure and pain are "general qualities, 

LOVE AND PAIN. * '" 93. 

one of which must, and either of which maj', belong to any fixed element 
of consciousness.'' "Pleasure," he considers, "is experienced whenever 
the physical activity coincident with the psychic state to which the 
pleasure is attached involves the use of surplus stored force." We can 
see, therefore, how, if pain acts as a stimulant to emotion, it becomes 
the servant of pleasure by supplying it with surplus stored force. 

This problem of pain is thus one of psychic dynamics. If we 
realize this we shall begin to understand the place of cruelty in life. 
"One ought to learn anew about cruelty," said Nietzsche (Beyond Good 
and Evil, 229), "and open one's eyes. Almost everything that we 
call 'higher culture' is based upon the spiritualizing and intensifying of 
cruelty. . . Then, to be sure, we must put aside teaching the 

blundering psychology of former times, which could only teach with 
regard to cruelty that it originated at the sight of the suffering of 
others; there is an abundant, superabundant enjoyment even in one's 
own suffering, in causing one's own suffering." The element of paradox 
disappears from this statement if we realize that it is not a question of 
"cruelty," but of the dynamics of pain. 

Camille Bos in a suggestive essay ("Du Plaisir de la Douleur," 
Revue Philosophique, July, 1902) finds the explanation of the mystery 
in that complexity of the phenomena to which I have already referred. 
Both pain and pleasure are complex feelings, the resultant of various 
components, and we name that resultant in accordance with the nature 
of the strongest component. "Thus we give to a, eomplexus a name 
which strictly belongs only to one of its factors, and in -pain all is not 
painful." When pain becomes a desired end Camille Bos regards the 
desire as due to three causes: (1) the pain contrasts with and revives 
a pleasure which custom threatens to dull; (2) the pain by preceding 
the pleasure accentuates the positive character of the latter; (3) pain 
momentarily raises the lowered level of sensibility and restores to the 
organism for a brief period the faculty of enjoyment it had lost. 

It must therefore be said that, in so far as pain is pleasurable, 
it is so only in so far as it is recognized as a prelude to pleasure, or else 
when it is an actual stimulus to the nerves conveying the sensa- 
tion of pleasure. The nymphomaniac who experienced an orgasm at the 
moment when the knife passed through her clitoris (as recorded by 
Mantegazza) and the prostitute who experienced keen pleasure when 
the surgeon removed vegetations from her vulva (as recorded by FSrS) 
took no pleasure in pain, but in one case the intense craving for strong 
sexual emotion, and in the other the long-blunted nerves of pleasure, 
welcomed the abnormally strong impulse; and the pain of the incision, 
if felt at all, was immediately swallowed up in the sensation of pleasure. 
Moll remarks (Kontrare Sexualempfindung, third edition, p. 278) that 
even in man a trace of physical pain may be normally combined with 


sexual pleasure, when the vagina contracts on the penis at the moment 
of ejaculation, the pain, when not too severe, being almost immediately 
felt as pleasure. That there is no pleasure in the actual pain, even in 
masochism, is indicated by the following statement which Krafft-Ebing 
gives as representing the experiences of a masochist (Psychopathia 
Sexualis, English translation, p. 201 ) : "The relation is not of such a 
nature that what causes physical pain is simply perceived as physical 
pleasure, for the person in a state of masochistic ecstasy feels no pain, 
either because by reason of his emotional state (like that of the soldier 
in battle) the physical effect on his cutaneous nerves is not apperceived, 
or because (as with religious martyrs and enthusiasts) in the preoccu- 
pation of consciousness with sexual emotion the idea of maltreatment 
remains merely a. symbol, without its quality of pain. To a certain 
extent there is overcompensation of physical pain in psychic pleasure, 
and only the excess remains in consciousness as psychic lust. This 
also undergoes an increase, since, either through reflex spinal influence 
or through a peculiar coloring in the sensorium of sensory impressions, 
a kind of hallucination of bodily pleasure takes place, with a vague 
localization of the objectively projected sensation. In the self-torture 
of religious enthusiasts (fakirs, howling dervishes, religious flagellants) 
there is an analogous state, only with a difference in the quality of 
pleasurable feeling. Here the conception of martyrdom is also apper- 
ceived without its pain, for consciousness is filled with the pleasurably 
colored idea of serving God, atoning for sins, deserving Heaven, etc., 
through martyrdom." This statement cannot be said to clear up the 
matter entirely; but it is fairly evident that, when a woman says that 
she finds pleasure in the pain inflicted by a lover, she means that under 
the special circumstances she finds pleasure in treatment which would 
at other times be felt as pain, or else that the slight real pain experi- 
enced is so quickly followed by overwhelming pleasure that in memory 
the pain itself seems to have been pleasure and may even be regarded as 
the symbol of pleasure. 

There is a special peculiarity of physical pain, which may be well 
borne in mind in considering the phenomena now before us, for it helps 
to account for the tolerance with which the idea of pain is regarded. 
I refer to the great ease with which physical pain is forgotten, a, fact 
well known to all mothers, or to all who have been present at the birth 
of a child. As Professor von Tschisch points out ("Der Schmerz," Zeit- 
schrift fiir Psyckologie und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane, Bd. xxvi, ht. 
1 and 2, 1901), memory can only preserve impressions as a whole; 
physical pain consists of a sensation and of a feeling. But memory 
cannot easily reproduce the definite sensation of the pain, and thus the 
whole memory is disintegrated and speedily forgotten. It is quite other- 


•wise with moral suffering, which persists in memory and has far more 
influence on conduct. No one wishes to suffer moral pain or has any 
pleasure even in the idea of suffering it. 

It is the presence of this essential tendency which leads 
to a certain apparent contradiction in a woman's emotions. 
On the one hand, rooted in the maternal instinct, we find pity, 
tenderness, and compassion; on the other hand, rooted in the 
sexual instinct, we find a delight in roughness, violence, pain, 
and danger, sometimes in herself, sometimes also in others. 
The one impulse craves something innocent and helpless, to 
cherish and protect; the other delights in the spectacle of reck- 
lessness, audacity, sometimes even effrontery. 1 A woman is 
not perfectly happy in her lover unless he can give at least 
some satisfaction to each of these two opposite longings. 

The psychological satisfaction which women tend to feel 
in a certain degree of pain in love is strictly co-ordinated with 
a physical fact. Women possess a minor degree of sensibility 
in the sexual region. This fact must not be misunderstood. 
On the one hand, it by no means begs the question as to 
whether women's sensibility generally is greater or less than 
that of men ; this is a disputed question and the evidence is still 
somewhat conflicting. 2 On the other hand, it also by no means 
involves a less degree of specific sexual pleasure in women, for 
the tactile sensibility of the sexual organs is no index to the 
specific sexual sensibility of those organs when in a state of 
tumescence. The real significance of the less tactile sensibility 
of the genital region in women is to be found in parturition and 
the special liability of the sexual region in women to injury. 3 

1 De Stendhal (De I' Amour) mentions that when in London he was 
on terms of friendship with an English actress who was the mistress of 
a wealthy colonel, but privately had another lover. One day the colonel 
arrived when the other man was present. "This gentleman has called 
about the pony I want to sell," said the actress. "I have come for a 
very different purpose," said the little man, and thus aroused a love 
which was beginning to languish. 

2 See Havelock Ellis, Man and Woman, chapter vi, "The Senses." 

3 This liability is emphasized by Adler, Die Mangelhafte Geschlechts- 
empfindung des Weibes, p. 125. 


The women who are less sensitive in this respect would be 
better able and more willing to endure the risks of childbirth, 
and would therefore tend to supplant those who were more 
sensitive. But, as a by-product of this less degree of sensibility, 
we have a condition in which physical irritation amounting even 
to pain may become to normal women in the state of extreme 
tumescence a source of pleasurable excitement, such as it would 
rarely be to normal men. 

To Calmann appear to be due the first carefully made observations 
showing the minor sensibility of the genital tract in women. (Adolf 
Calmann, "Sensibilitatsprufungen am weiblicken Genitale nach foren- 
sichen Gesichtspunkten," ArcMv fur Gynakologie, 1898, p. 454.) He in- 
vestigated the vagina, urethra, and anus in eighteen women and found 
a great lack of sensibility, least marked in anus, and most marked in 
vagina. [This distribution of the insensitiveness alone indicates that 
it is due, as I have suggested, to natural selection.] Sometimes a finger 
in the vagina could not be felt at all. One woman, when a catheter was 
introduced into the anus, said it might be the vagina or urethra, but 
was certainly not the anus. (Calmann remarks that he was careful to 
put his questions in an intelligible form.) The women were only con- 
scious of the urine being drawn off when they heard the familiar sound 
of the stream or when the bladder was very full; if the sound of the 
stream was deadened by a towel they were quite unconscious that the 
bladder had been emptied. [In confirmation of this statement I have 
noticed that in a lady whose distended bladder it was necessary to 
empty by the catheter shortly before the birth of her first child — but 
who had, indeed, been partly under the influence of chloroform — there 
was no consciousness of the artificial relief; she merely remarked that 
she thought she could now relieve herself.] There was some sense of 
temperature, but sense of locality, tactile sense, and judgment of size 
were often widely erroneous. It is significant that virgins were just as 
insensitive as married women or those who had had children. Calmann's 
experiments appear to be confirmed by the experiments of Marco Treves, 
of Turin, on the thermoesthesiometry of mucous membranes, as re- 
ported to the Turin International Congress of Physiology (and briefly 
noted in yature, Xovember 21, 1901). Treves found that the sensitivity 
of mucous membranes is always less than that of the skin. The 
mucosa of the urethra and of the cervix uteri was quite incapable of 
heat and cold sensations, and even the cautery excited only slight, and 
that painful, sensation. 

In further illustration of this point reference may be made to the 
not infrequent cases in which the whole process of parturition and the 


enormous distention of tissues which it involves proceed throughout 
in an almost or quite painless manner. It is sufficient to refer to two 
cases reported in Paris by Mace and briefly summarized in the British 
Medical Journal, May 25, 1901. In the first the patient was a primipara 
20 years of age, and, until the dilatation of the cervix was complete 
and efforts at expulsion had commenced, the uterine contractions were 
quite painless. In the second case, the mother, aged 25, a tripara, had 
previously had very rapid labors; she awoke in the middle of the night 
-without pains, but during micturition the fetal head appeared at the 
vulva, and was soon born. 

Further illustration may be found in those cases in which severe 
inflammatory processed may take place in the genital canal without 
being noticed. Thus, Maxwell reports the case of a young Chinese 
woman, certainly quite normal, in whom after the birth of her first 
child the vagina became almost obliterated, yet beyond slight occasional 
pain she noticed nothing wrong until the husband found that penetra- 
tion was impossible (British Medical Journal, January 11, 1902, p. 78). 
The insensitiveness of the vagina and its contrast, in this respect, with 
the penis— though we are justified in regarding the penis as being, 
like organs of special sense, relatively deficient in general sensibil- 
ity — are vividly presented in such an incident as the following, re- 
ported a few years ago in America by Dr. G. W. Allen in the Boston 
Medical and Surgical Journal: A man came under observation with an 
edematous, inflamed penis. The wife, the night previous, on advice of 
friends, had injected pure carbolic acid into the vagina just previous to 
•coitus. The husband, ignorant of the fact, experienced untoward burn- 
ing and smarting during and after coitus, but thought little of it, and 
soon fell asleep. The next morning there were large blisters on the 
penis, but it was no longer painful. When seen by Dr. Allen the pre- 
puce was retracted and edematous, the whole penis was much swollen, 
and there were large, perfectly raw surfaces on either side of the glans. 

In this connection we may well bring into line a remarkable 
group of phenomena concerning which much evidence has now 
accumulated. I refer to the use of various appliances, fixed 
in or around the penis, whether permanently or temporarily 
during coitus, such appliance being employed at the woman's 
instigation and solely in order to heighten her excitement in 
congress. These appliances have their great center among the 
Indonesian peoples (in Borneo, Java, Sumatra, the Malay penin- 
sula, the Philippines, etc.), thence extending in a modified form 
through China, to become, it appears, considerably prevalent 


in Kussia; I have also a note of their appearance in India. 
They have another widely diffused center, through which, how- 
ever, they are more sparsely scattered, among the American 
Indians of the northern and more especially of the southern 
continents. Amerigo Vespucci and other early travelers noted 
the existence of some of these appliances, and since Miklucho- 
Macleay carefully described them as used in Borneo 1 their ex- 
istence has been generally recognized. They are usually re- 
garded merely as ethnological curiosities. As such they would 
not concern us here. Their real significance for us is that they 
illustrate the comparative insensitiveness of the genital canal 
in women, while at the same time they show that a certain 
amount of what we cannot but regard as painful stimulation is 
craved by women, in order to heighten tumescence and increase 
sexual pleasure, even though it can only by procured by arti- 
ficial methods. It is, of course, possible to argue that in these 
cases we are not concerned with pain at all, but with a strong 
stimulation that is felt as purely pleasurable. There can be 
no doubt, however, that in the absence of sexual excitement this 
stimulation would be felt as purely painful, and — in the light 
of our previous discussion — we may, perhaps, fairly regard it 
as a painful stimulation which is craved, not because it is itself 
pleasurable, but because it heightens the highly pleasurable state 
of tumescence. 

Borneo, the geographical center of the Indonesian world, appears 
also to be the district in which these instruments are most popular. 
The ampallang, pairing, Icambirm, or sprit-sail ya/rd, as it is variously 
termed, is a, little rod of bone or metal nearly two inches in length, 
rounded at the ends, and used by the Kyans and Dyaks of Borneo. 
Before coitus it is inserted into a transverse orifice in the penis, made by 
a. painful and somewhat dangerous operation and kept open by a quill. 
Two or more of these instruments are occasionally worn. Sometimes 
little brushes are attached to each end of the instrument. Another in- 
strument, used by the Dyaks, but said to have been borrowed from the 
Malays, is the palang anus, which is a ring or collar of plaited palm- 
fiber, furnished with a pair of stiffish horns of the same wiry material; 

iZeitschrift fur Ethnologie, Bd. viii, 187G, pp. 22-28. 


it is -worn on the neck of the glans and fits tight to the skin so as not 
to slip off. (Brooke Low, "The Natives of Borneo," Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute, August and November, 1892, p. 45; the 
ampallang and similar instruments are described by Ploss and Bartels, 
Das Weib, Bd. i, chapter xvii; also in Untrodden Fields of Anthropology, 
by a French army surgeon, 1898, vol. ii, pp. 135-141; also Mantegazza, 
Oli Amori degli Uomini, French translation, p. 83 et seq.) Riedel 
informed Miklucho-Macleay that in the Celebes the Alfurus fasten the 
eyelids of goats with the eyelashes round the corona of the glans penis, 
and in Java a piece of goatskin is used in a, similar way, so as to form 
a hairy sheath {Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, 1876, pp. 22-25), while 
among the Batta, of Sumatra, Hagen found that small stones are in- 
serted by an incision under the skin of the penis (Zeitschrift fur 
Ethnologie, 1891, ht. 3, p. 351). 

In the Malay peninsula Stevens found instruments somewhat 
similar to the ampallang still in use among some tribes, and among 
others formerly in use. He thinks they were brought from Borneo. 
(H. V. Stevens, Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, 1S96, ht. 4, p. 181.) Bloeh, 
who brings forward other examples of similar devices (Beitrdge zur 
Aetiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis, pp. 56-58), considers that the 
Australian mica operation may thus in part be explained. 

Such instruments are not, however, entirely unknown in Europe. 
In France, in the eighteenth century, it appears that rings, sometimes 
set with hard knobs, and called "aides," were occasionally used by men 
to heighten the pleasure of women in intercourse. (Diihren, Marquis 
de Sade, 1901, p. 130.) In Russia, according to Weissenberg, of Eliza- 
bethsgrad, it is not uncommon to use elastic rings set with little teeth; 
these rings are fastened around the base of the glans. (Weissenberg, 
Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, 1893, ht. 2, p. 135.) This instrument must 
have been brought to Russia from the East, for Burton ( in the notes to 
his Araiian Nights) mentions a, precisely similar instrument as in use 
in China. Somewhat similar is the "Chinese hedgehog," a wreath of 
fine, soft feathers with the quills solidly fastened by silver wire to a, ring 
of the same metal, which is slipped over the glans. In South America 
the Araucanians of Argentina use a little horsehair brush fastened 
around the penis ; one of these is in the museum at La Plata ; it is said 
the custom may have been borrowed from the Patagonians; these in- 
struments, called geskels, are made by the women and the workmanship 
is very delicate. (Lehmann-Nitsche, Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, 1900, 
ht. 6, p. 491.) It is noteworthy that a somewhat similar tuft of horse- 
hair is also worn in Borneo. ( Breitenstein, 21 Jahre in India, 1899, 
pt. i, p. 227.) Most of the accounts state that the women attach great 
importance to the gratification afforded by such instruments. In Borneo 


a modest woman symbolically indicates to her lover the exact length 
of the ampallang she would prefer by leaving at a particular spot a 
cigarette of that length. Miklucho-Macleay considers that these instru- 
ments were invented by women. Brooke Low remarks that "no woman 
once habituated to its use will ever dream of permitting her bedfellow 
to discontinue the practice of wearing it," and Stevens states that at 
one time no woman would marry a man who was not furnished with 
such an apparatus. It may be added that a very similar appliance may 
be found in European countries (especially Germany) in the use of a 
condom furnished with irregularities, or a frill, in order to increase the 
woman's excitement. It is not impossible to And evidence that, in 
European countries, even in the absence of such instruments, the craving 
which they gratify still exists in women. Thus, Mauriae tells of a 
patient with vegetations on the glans who delayed treatment because his 
mistress liked him so best (art. "Vegetations,'' Dictionnaire de Midecine 
et Ghirurgie pratique ) . 

It may seem that such impulses and such devices to gratify them 
are altogether unnatural. This is not so. They have a zoological basis 
and in many animals are embodied in the anatomical structure. Many 
rodents, ruminants, and some of the carnivora show natural develop- 
ments of the penis closely resembling some of those artificially adopted 
by man. Thus the guinea-pigs possess two horny styles attached to the 
penis, while the glans of the penis is covered with sharp spines. Some 
of the Caviids also have two sharp, horny saws at the side of the penis. 
The cat, the rhinoceros, the tapir, and other animals possess projecting 
structures on the penis, and some species of ruminants, such as the 
sheep, the giraffe, and many antelopes, have, attached to the penis, long 
filiform processes through which the urethra passes. (F. H. A. Mar- 
shall, The Physiology of Reproduction, pp. 246-248.) 

We find, even in creatures so delicate and ethereal as the butter- 
flies, a whole armory of keen weapons for use in coitus. These were 
described in detail in an elaborate and fully illustrated memoir by P. 
H. Gosse ("On the Clasping Organs Ancillary to Generation in Certain 
Groups of the Lepidoptera," Transactions of the Linnwan Society, 
second series, vol. ii, Zoology, 1882). These organs, which Gosse terms 
harpes (or grappling irons), are found in the Papilionidse and are very 
beautiful and varied, taking the forms of projecting claws, hooks, pikes, 
swords, knobs, and strange combinations of these, commonly brought to 
a keen edge and then cut into sharp teeth. 

It is probable that all these structures serve to excite the sexual 
apparatus of the female and to promote tumescence. 

To the careless observer there may seem to be something vicious 
or perverted in such manifestations in man. That opinion becomes 


very doubtful when we consider how these tendencies occur in people 
living under natural conditions in widely separated parts of the world. 
It becomes still further untenable if we are justified in believing that 
the ancestors of men possessed projecting epithelial appendages at- 
tached to the penis, and if we accept the discovery by Friedenthal of 
the rudiment of these appendages on the penis of the human fetus at an 
early stage (Friedenthal, "Sonderformen der menschlichen Leibesbil- 
dung," Sexual-Probleme, Feb., 1912, p. 129). In this case human 
ingenuity would merely be seeking to supply an organ which nature 
has ceased to furnish, although it is still in some cases needed, espe- 
cially among peoples whose aptitude for erethism has remained at, or 
fallen to, a subhuman level. 

At first sight the connection between love and pain — the 
tendency of men to delight in inflicting it and women in suf- 
fering it — seems strange and inexplicable. It seems amazing 
that a tender and even independent woman should maintain 
a passionate attachment to a man who subjects her to physical 
and moral insults, and that a strong man, often intelligent, 
reasonable, and even kind-hearted, should desire to subject to 
such insults a woman whom he loves passionately and who has 
given him every final proof of her own passion. In understand- 
ing such cases we have to remember that it is only within limits 
that a woman really enjoys the pain, discomfort, or subjection 
to which she submits. A little pain which the man knows he 
can himself soothe, a little pain which the woman gladly ac- 
cepts as the sign and forerunner of pleasure — this degree of 
pain comes within the normal limits of love and is rooted, as 
we have seen, in the experience of the race. But when it is 
carried beyond these limits, though it may still be tolerated 
because of the support it receives from its biological basis, it 
is no longer enjoyed. The natural note has been too violently 
struck, and the rhythm of love has ceased to be perfect. A 
woman may desire to be forced, to be roughly forced, to be 
ravished away beyond her own will. But all the time she only 
desires to be forced toward those things which are essentially 
and profoundly agreeable to her. A man who fails to realize 
this has made little progress in the art of love. "I like being 
knocked about and made to do things I don't want to do," a 


woman said, but she admitted, on being questioned, that she 
would not like to have much pain inflicted, and that she might 
not care to be made to do important things she did not want 
to do. The story of Griselda's unbounded submissiveness can 
scarcely be said to be psychologically right, though it has its 
artistic Tightness as an elaborate fantasia on this theme justi- 
fied by its conclusion. 

This point is further illustrated by the following passage from a 
letter written by a lady: "Submission to the man's will is still, and 
always must be, the prelude to pleasure, and the association of ideas 
will probably always produce this much misunderstood instinct. Now, 
I find, indirectly from other women and directly from my own experi- 
ence, that, when the point in dispute is very important and the man 
exerts his authority, the desire to get one's own way completely oblit- 
erates the sexual feeling, while, conversely, in small things the sexual 
feeling obliterates the desire to have one's own way. Where the two 
are nearly equal a, conflict between them ensues, and I can stand aside 
and wonder which will get the best of it, though I encourage the sexual 
feeling when possible, as, if the other conquers, it leaves a sense of great 
mental irritation and physical discomfort. A man should command in 
small things, as in nine eases out of ten this will produce excitement. 
He should advise in large matters, or he may find either that he is un- 
able to enforce his orders or that he produces a feeling of dislike and 
annoyance he was far from intending. Women imagine men must be 
stronger than themselves to excite their passion. I disagree. A pas- 
sionate man has the best chance, for in him the primitive instincts are 
strong. The wish to subdue the female is one of them, and in small 
things he will exert his authority to make her feel his power, while she 
knows that on a question of real importance she has a good chance of 
getting her own way by working on his greater susceptibility. Per- 
haps an illustration will show what I mean. I was listening to the 
band and a girl and her fiance' came up to occupy two seats near me. 
The girl sank into one seat, but for some reason the man wished her to 
take the other. She refused. He repeated his order twice, the second 
time so peremptorily that she changed places, and I heard him say: 'I 
don't think you heard what I said. I don't expect to give an order three 

"This little scene interested me, and I afterward asked the girl the 
following questions: — 

" 'Had you any reason for taking one chair more than the other V 

" 'No.' 


" 'Did Mr. 's insistence on your changing give you any pleas- 

"'Yes' (after a little hesitation). 


" 'I don't know.' 

" 'Would it have done so if you had particularly wished to sit in 
that chair ; if, for instance, you had had a boil on your cheek and wished 
to turn that side away from him?' 

" 'No ; certainly not. The worry of thinking he was looking at it 
would have made me too cross to feel pleased.' 

"Does this explain what I mean ? The occasion, by the way, need 
not be really important, but, as in this imaginary case of the boil, if 
it seems important to the woman, irritation will outweigh the physical 

I am well aware that in thus asserting a certain tendency 
in women to delight in suffering pain — however careful and 
qualified the position I have taken — many estimable people will 
cry out that I am degrading a whole sex and generally support- 
ing the "subjection of women." But the day for academic 
discussion concerning the "subjection of women" has gone by. 
The tendency I have sought to make clear is too well estab- 
lished by the experience of normal and typical women — how- 
ever numerous the exceptions may be — to be called in question. 
I would point out to those who would deprecate the influence 
of such facts in relation to social progress that nothing is 
gained by regarding women as simply men of smaller growth. 
They are not so; they have the laws of their own nature; their 
development must be along their own lines, and not along 
masculine lines. It is as true now as in Bacon's day that we 
only learn to command nature by obeying her. To ignore 
facts is to court disappointment in our measure of progress. 
The particular fact with which we have here come in contact 
is very vital and radical, and most subtle in its influence. It is 
foolish to ignore it; we must allow for its existence. We 
can neither attain a sane view of life nor a sane social legislation 
of life unless we possess a just and accurate knowledge of the 
fundamental instincts upon which life is built. 


The Definition of Sadism — De Sade — Masochism to some Extent 
Normal — Saeher-JIasoch — Xo Real Line of Demarcation between Sadism 
and Masochism — Algolagnia includes both Groups of Manifestations — 
The Love-bite as a Bridge from Normal Phenomena to Algolagnia — The 
Fascination of Blood — The Most Extreme Perversions are Linked on to 
Normal Phenomena. 

We thus see that there are here two separate groups of feel- 
ings : one, in the masculine line, which delights in displaying 
force and often inflicts pain or the simulacrum of pain; the 
other, in the feminine line, which delights in submitting to 
that force, and even finds pleasure in a slight amount of pain, 
or the idea of pain, when, associated with the experiences of 
love. We see, also, that these two groups of feelings are com- 
plementary. Within the limits consistent with normal and 
healthy life, what men are impelled to give women love to 
receive. So that we need not unduly deprecate the "cruelty" 
of men within these limits, nor unduly commiserate the women 
who are subjected to it. 

Such a conclusion, however, as we have also seen, only 
holds good within those normal limits which an attempt has 
here been made to determine. The phenomena we have been 
considering are strictly normal phenomena, having their basis 
in the conditions of tumescence and detumescence in animal 
and primitive human courtship. At one point, however, when 
discussing the phenomena of the love-bite, I referred to the 
facts which indicate how this purely normal manifestation yet 
insensibly passes over into the region of the morbid. It is an 
instance that enables us to realize how even the most terrible 
and repugnant sexual perversions are still demonstrably linked 
on to phenomena that are fundamentally normal. The love- 
bite may be said to give us the key to that perverse impulse 
which has been commonly called sadism. 


There is some difference of opinion as to how "sadism" 
may be best defined. Perhaps the simplest and most usual 
definition is that of Krafft-Ebing, as sexual emotion asso- 
ciated with the wish to inflict pain and use violence, or, as he 
elsewhere expresses it, "the impulse to cruel and violent treat- 
ment of the opposite sex, and the coloring of the idea of such 
acts with lustful feeling." 1 A more complete definition is that 
of Moll, who describes sadism as a condition in which "the 
sexual impulse consists in the tendency to strike, ill-use, and 
humiliate the beloved person." 2 This definition has the advan- 
tage of bringing in the element of moral pain. A further ex- 
tension is made in Fere's definition as "the need of association 
of violence and cruelty with sexual enjoyment, such violence 
or cruelty not being necessarily exerted by the person himself 
who seeks sexual pleasure in this association." 3 Garnier's 
definition, while comprising all these points, further allows for 
the fact that a certain degree of sadism may be regarded as 
normal. "Pathological sadism," he states, "is an impulsive and 
obsessing sexual perversion characterized by a close connection 
between suffering inflicted or mentally represented and the sex- 
ual orgasm, without this necessary and sufficing condition fri- 
gidity usually remaining absolute." 4 It must be added that 
these definitions are very incomplete if by "sadism" we are to 
understand the special sexual perversions which are displayed in 
De Sade's novels. Iwan Bloch ("Eugen Dfihren"), in the 
course of his book on De Sade, has attempted a definition strictly 
on this basis, and, as will be seen, it is necessary to make it 
very elaborate: "A connection, whether intentionally sought or 
offered by chance, of sexual excitement and sexual enjoyment 
with the real or only symbolic (ideal, ilfusionary) appearance of 

1 Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia Sexioalis, English translation of tenth 
German edition, pp. 80, 209. It should be added that the object of the 
sadistic impulse is not necessarily a person of the opposite sex. 

2 A. Moll, Die Kontrdre Sexualempfindung, third edition, 1899, p. 

3 F6rg, L'Instinet Sexuel, p. 133. 

4 P. Gamier, "Des Perversions Sexuelles," Thirteenth International 
Congress of Medicine, Section of Psychiatry, Paris, 1900. 


frightful and shocking events, destructive occurrences and prac- 
tices, which threaten or destroy the life, health, and property of 
man and other living creatures, and threaten and interrupt the 
continuity of inanimate objects, whereby the person who from 
such occurrences obtains sexual enjoyment may either himself 
be the direct cause, or cause them to take place by means of 
other persons, or merely be the spectator, or, finally, be, vol- 
untarily or involuntarily, the object against which these proc- 
esses are directed." 1 This definition of sadism as found in De 
Sade's works is thus, more especially by its final clause, a very 
much wider conception than the usual definition. 

Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis De Sade, was born in 1740 
at Paris in the house of the great Conde. He belonged to a very noble, 
ancient, and distinguished Provencal family; Petrarch's Laura, who 
married a. De Sade, was one of his ancestors, and the family had cul- 
tivated both arms and letters with success. He was, according to La- 
croix, "an adorable youth whose delicately pale and dusky face, lighted 
up by two large black [according to another account blue] eyes, already 
bore the languorous imprint of the vice which was to corrupt his whole 
being"; his voice was "drawling and caressing"; his gait had "a softly 
feminine grace." Unfortunately there is no authentic portrait of him. 
His early life is sketched in letter iv of his Aline et Valcourt. On 
leaving the CollSge-Louis-le-Grand he became a cavalry officer and went 
through the Seven Years' ^Yar in Germany. There can be little doubt 
that the experiences of his military life, working on a. femininely 
vicious temperament, had much to do with the development of his per- 
version. He appears to have got into numerous scrapes, of which the 
details are unknown, and his father sought to marry him to the daughter 
of an aristocratic friend of his own, a noble and amiable girl of 20. It 
so chanced that when young De Sade first went to the house of his 
future wife only her younger sister, a, girl of 13, was at home; with 
her he at once fell in love and his love was reciprocated; they were 
both musical enthusiasts, and she had a, beautiful voice. The parents 
insisted on carrying out the original scheme of marriage. De Sade's 
wife loved him, and, in spite of everything, served his interests with 
Griselda-like devotion; she was, Ginisty remarks, a, saint, a saint of 
conjugal life; but her love was from the first only requited with repul- 
sion, contempt, and suspicion. There were, however, children of the 

i E. Diihren, Der Marquis de Sade und Seine Zeit, third edition, 
1901, p. 449. 


marriage; the career of the eldest — an estimable young man who went 
into the army and also had artistic ability, but otherwise had no com- 
munity of tastes with his father — has been sketched by Paul Ginisty, 
who has also edited the letters of the Marquise. Be Sade's passion 
for the younger sister continued (he idealized her as Juliette), though 
she was placed in a convent beyond his reach, and at a much later 
period he eloped with her and spent perhaps the happiest period of 
his life, soon terminated by her death. It is evident that this un- 
happy marriage was decisive in determining De Sade's career; he at 
once threw himself recklessly into every form of dissipation, spending 
his health and his substance sometimes among reflnedly debauched nobles 
and sometimes among coarsely debauched lackeys. He was, however, 
always something of an artist, something of a student, something of a 
philosopher, and at an early period he began to write, apparently at 
the age of 23. It was at this age, and only a, few months after his 
marriage, that on account of some excess he was for a time confined in 
Vincennes. He was destined to spend 27 years of his life in prisons, if 
we include the 13 years which in old age he passed in the asylum at 
Charenton. His actual offenses were by no means so terrible as those 
he loved to dwell on in imagination, and for the most part they have 
been greatly exaggerated. His most extreme offenses were the indecent 
and forcible flagellation in 1768 of a young woman, Rosa Keller, who 
had accosted him in the street for alms, and whom he induced by false 
pretenses to come to his house, and the administration of aphrodisiacal 
bonbons to some prostitutes at Marseilles. It is owing to the fact that 
the prime of his manhood was spent in prisons that De Sade fell back 
on dreaming, study, and novel-writing. Shut out from real life, he 
solaced his imagination with the perverted visions — to a very large 
extent, however, founded on knowledge of the real facts of perverted 
life in his time — which he has recorded in Justine (1781) ; Les 120 
Journies de Sodome ou VEcole du Libertinage (1785) ; Aline et Talcour 
ou le Roman Philosophique (1788); Juliette (1796); La Philosophie 
dans le Boudoir (1795). These books constitute a sort of encyclopedia 
of sexual perversions, an eighteenth century Psychopathia Sexualis, and 
embody, at the same time, a philosophy. He was the first, Bloch re- 
marks, who realized the immense importance of the sexual question. 
His general attitude may be' illustrated by the following passage (as 
quoted by Laeassagne) : "If there are beings in the world whose acts 
shock all accepted prejudices, we must not preach at them or punish 
them . because their bizarre tastes no more depend upon them- 

selves than it depends on you whether you are witty or stupid, well 
made or hump-backed. What would become of your laws, 

your morality, your religion, your gallows, your Paradise, your gods, 


your hell, if it were shown that such and such fluids, such fibers, or 
a certain acridity in the blood, or in the animal spirits, alone suffice to 
make a man the object of your punishments or your rewards ?" He was 
enormously well read, Bloeh points out, and his interest extended to 
every field of literature: belles lettres, philosophy, theology, politics, 
sociology, ethnology, mythology, and history. Perhaps his favorite 
reading was travels. He was minutely familiar with the bible, though 
his attitude was extremely critical. His favorite philosopher was 
Lamettrie, whom he very frequently quotes, and he had carefully studied 

De Sade had foreseen the Revolution; he was an ardent admirer 
of ilarat, and at this period he entered into public life as a mild, gentle, 
rather bald and gray-haired person. Many scenes of the Revolution 
were the embodiment in real life of De Sade's imagination; such, for 
instance, were the barbaric tortures inflicted, at the instigation of 
Theroigne de Mericourt, on La Belle Bouquetiere. Yet De Sade played 
a very peaceful part in the events of that time, chiefly as a philan- 
thropist, spending much of his time in the hospitals. He saved his 
parents-in-law from the scaffold, although they had always been hostile 
to him, and by his moderation aroused the suspicions of the revolutionary 
party, and was again imprisoned. Later he wrote a pamphlet against 
Napoleon, who never forgave him and had him shut up in Charenton as 
a lunatic; it was a not unusual method at that time of disposing of 
persons whom it was wished to put out of the way, and, notwith- 
standing De Sade's organically abnormal temperament, there is no 
reason to regard him as actually insane. Royer-Collard, an eminent 
alienist of that period, then at the head of Charenton, declared De Sade 
to be sane, and his detailed report is still extant. Other specialists were 
of the same opinion. Bloch, who quotes these opinions (Seue Forschun- 
gen, etc., p. 370 ) , says that the only possible conclusion is that De Sade 
was sane, but neurasthenic, and Eulenburg also concludes that he cannot 
be regarded as insane, although he was highly degenerate. In the asylum 
he amused himself by organizing a theater. Lacroix, many years later, 
questioning old people who had known him, was surprised to find that 
even in the memory of most virtuous and respectable persons he lived 
merely as an "aimable mauvais sujet." It is noteworthy that De Sade 
aroused, in a singular degree, the love and devotion of women, — whether 
or not we may regard this as evidence of the fascination exerted on 
women by cruelty. Janin remarks that he had seen many pretty little 
letters written by young and charming women of the great world, beg- 
ging for the release of the "pauvre marquis." 

Sardou, the dramatist, has stated that in 1855 he visited the 
Bicetre and met an old gardener who had known De Sade during his 


reclusion there. He told that one of the marquis's amusements was to 
procure baskets of the most beautiful and expensive roses; he would 
then sit on a, footstool by a dirty streamlet which ran through the 
courtyard, and would take the roses, one by one, gaze at them, smell 
them with a voluptuous expression, soak them in the muddy water, and 
fling them away, laughing as he did so. He died on the 2d of 
December, 1814, at the age of 74. He was almost blind, and had long 
been a, martyr to gout, asthma, and an affection of the stomach. It 
was his wish that acorns should be planted over his grave and his 
memory effaced. At a later period his skull was examined by a 
phrenologist, who found it small and well formed; "one would take it 
at first for a woman's head." The skull belonged to Dr. Londe, but 
about the middle of the century it was stolen by a doctor who con- 
veyed it to England, where it may possibly yet be found. [The fore- 
going account is mainly founded on Paul Lacroix, Revue de Paris, 1837, 
and Guriositis de VHistoire de France, second series, Proees Celebres, 
p. 225; Janin, Revue de Paris, 1834; Eugen Diihren (Iwan Bloch), Der 
Marquis de Sade und Seine Zeit, third edition, 1901 ; id., Neue Forschun- 
gen iiber den Marquis de Sade und Seine Zeit, 1904; Lacassagne,'yac?ier 
VErentreur et les Crimes Sadiques, 1899; Paul Ginisty, La Marquise de 
Sade, 1901.] 

The attempt to define sadism strictly and penetrate to its 
roots in De Sade's personal temperament reveals a certain weak- 
ness in the current conception of this sexual perversion. It is 
not, as we might infer, both from the definition usually given 
and from its probable biological heredity from primitive times, 
a perversion due to excessive masculinity. The strong man is 
more apt to be tender than cruel, or at all events knows how 
to restrain within bounds any impulse to cruelty; the most 
extreme and elaborate forms of sadism (putting aside such 
as are associated with a considerable degree of imbecility) are 
more apt to be allied with a somewhat feminine organization. 
Montaigne, indeed, observed long ago that cruelty is usually 
accompanied by feminine softness. 

In the same way it is a mistake to suppose that the very feminine 
woman is not capable of sadistic tendencies. Even if we take into ac- 
count the primitive animal conditions of combat, the male must suffer . 
as well as inflict pain, and the female must not only experience subjec- 
tion to the male, but also share in the emotions of her partner's victory 
over his rivals. As bearing on these points, I may quote the following 


remarks written by a lady: "It is said that, the weaker and more 
feminine a woman is, the greater the subjection she likes. I don't think 
it has anything at all to do with the general character, but depends 
entirely on whether the feeling of constraint and helplessness affects her 
sexually. In men I have several times noticed that those who were 
most desirous of subjection to the women they loved had, in ordinary 
life, very strong and determined characters. I know of others, too, who 
with very weak characters are very imperious toward the women they 
care for. Among women I have often been surprised to see how a 
strong, determined woman will give way to a man she loves, and how 
tenacious of her own will may he some fragile, clinging creature who 
in daily life seems quite unable to act on her own responsibility. A 
certain amount of passivity, a, desire to have their emotions worked on, 
seems to me, so far as my small experience goes, very common among 
ordinary, presumably normal men. A good deal of stress is laid on 
femininity as an attraction in a woman, and this may be so to very 
strong natures, but, so far as I have seen, the women who obtain extraor- 
dinary empire over men are those with a certain virility in their 
character and passions. If with this virility they combine a fragility 
or childishness of appearance which appeals to a man in another way 
at the same time, they appear to be irresistible." 

I have noted some of the feminine traits in De Sade's temperament 
and appearance. The same may often be noted in sadists whose crimes 
were very much more serious and brutal than those of De Sade. A man 
who stabbed women in the streets at St. Louis was a waiter with a high- 
pitched, effeminate voice and boyish appearance. Eeidel, the sadistic 
murderer, was timid, modest, and delicate; Tie was too shy to urinate in 
the presence of other people. A sadistic zoophilist, described by A. Marie, 
who attempted to strangle a woman fellow-worker, had always been 
very timid, blushed with much facility, could not look even children in 
the eyes, or urinate in the presence of another person, or make sexual 
advances to women. 

Kiernan and Mover are inclined to connect the modesty and timid- 
ity of sadists with a disgust for normal coitus. They were called upon 
to examine an inverted married woman who had inflicted several 
hundred wounds, mostly superficial, with forks, scissors, etc., on the 
genital organs and other parts of a girl whom she had adopted from a 
"Home." This woman was very prominent in church and social matters 
in the city in which she lived, so that many clergymen and local 
persons of importance testified to her chaste, modest, and even 
prudish character; she was found to be sane at the time of the acts. 
(Moyer, Alienist and Xeurologist, May, 1907, and private letter from 
Dr. Kiernan.) 


We are thus led to another sexual perversion, which is 
usually considered the opposite of sadism. Masochism is com- 
monly regarded as a peculiarly feminine sexual perversion, 
in women, indeed, as normal in some degree, and in man as a 
sort of inversion of the normal masculine emotional attitude, 
but this view of the matter is not altogether justified, for definite 
and pronounced masochism seems to be much rarer in women 
than sadism. 1 Krafft-Ebing, whose treatment of this phenomenon 
is, perhaps, his most valuable and original contribution to sexual 
psychology, has dealt very fully with the matter and brought 
forward many cases. He thus defines this perversion: "By 
masochism I understand a peculiar perversion of the psychical 
vita sexualis in which the individual affected, in sexual feeling 
and thought, is controlled by the idea of being completely and un- 
conditionally subject to the will of a person of the opposite sex, 
of being treated by this person as by a master, humiliated and 
abused. This idea is colored by sexual feeling ; the ■ masochist 
lives in fancies in which he creates situations of this kind, and 
he often attempts to realize them." 2 

In a minor degree, not amounting to a complete perversion 
of the sexual instinct, this sentiment of abnegation, the desire 
to be even physically subjected to the adored woman, cannot be 
regarded as abnormal. More than two centuries before Krafft- 
Ebing appeared, Eobert Burton, who was no mean psychologist, 
dilated on the fact that love is a kind of slavery. "They are 
commonly slaves/' he wrote of lovers, "captives, voluntary 
servants; amator amicce mancipium, as Castilio terms him; his 
mistress's servant, her drudge, prisoner, bondman, what not?" 3 
Before Burton's time the legend of the erotic servitude of 
Aristotle was widely spread in Europe, and pictures exist of the 

i See, for instance, Bloch's Beitrage zur Mtiologie der Psycho- 
pathic/, Sexualis, part ii, p. 178. 

2 Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia Sexualis, English translation of tenth 
German edition, p. 115. Stefanowsky, who also discussed this condition 
{Archives de I' Anthropologic Criminelle, May, 1892, and translation, 
with notes by Kiernan, Alienist and Neurologist, Oct., 1892), termed it 

3 Anatomy of Melancholy, part iii, section 2, mem. iii, subs, I. 


venerable philosopher on all fours ridden by a woman with a 
whip. 1 In classic times various masochistic phenomena are 
noted with approval by Ovid. It has been pointed out by Moll 2 
that there are traces of masochistic feeling in some of Goethe's 
poems, especially "Lilis Park" and "Erwin und Elmire." Simi- 
lar traces have been found in the poems of Heine, Platen, 
Hamerling, and many other poets. 3 The poetry of the people 
is also said to contain many such traces. It may, indeed, be said 
that passion in its more lyric exaltations almost necessarily 
involves some resort to masochistic expression. A popular lady 
novelist in a novel written many years ago represents her hero, 
a robust soldier, imploring the lady of his love, in a moment 
of passionate exaltation, to trample on him, certainly without 
any wish to suggest sexual perversion. If it is true that the 
Antonio of Otway's Venice Preserved is a caricature of Shaftes- 
bury, then it would appear that one of the greatest of English 
statesmen was supposed to exhibit very pronounced and char- 
acteristic masochistic tendencies; and in more recent days 
masochistic expressions have been noted as occurring in the 
love-letters of so emphatically virile a statesman as Bismarck. 
Thus a minor degree of the masochistic tendency may be 
said to be fairly common, while its more pronounced manifesta- 
tions are more common than pronounced sadism. 4 It very fre- 
quently affects persons of a sensitive, refined, and artistic tem- 
perament. It may even be said that this tendency is in the line 
of civilization. Krafft-Ebing points out that some of the most 
delicate and romantic love-episodes of the Middle Ages are 
distinctly colored by masochistic emotion. 5 The increasing 

i "Aristoteles als Masochist," Geschlecht und Gesellschaft, Bd. ii, 
ht. 2. 

2 Die Kontrare Sexualempfindung, third edition, p. 277. Cf. C. F. 
von Sehlichtegroll, Sacher-Masoch und der Masochismus, p. 120. 

3 See C. F. von Sehlichtegroll, loc. cit., p. 124 et seq. 

4 Iwan Bloeh considers that it is the commonest of all sexual per- 
versions, more prevalent even than homosexuality. 

5 It has no doubt been prominent in earlier civilization. A very 
pronounced masochist utterance may be found in an ancient Egyptian 
love-song written about 1200 B.C.: "Oh! were I made her porter, I 


tendency to masochism with increasing civilization becomes 
explicable if we accept Colin Scott's "secondary law of court- 
ing" as accessory to the primary law that the male is active, 
and the female passive and imaginatively attentive to the states 
of the excited male. According to the secondary law, "the 
female develops a superadded activity, the male becoming rela- 
tively passive and imaginatively attentive to the psychical and 
bodily states of the female." 1 We may probably agree that 
this "secondary law of courting" does really represent a tend- 
ency of love in individuals of complex and sensitive nature, and 
the outcome of such a receptive attitude on the part of the 
male is undoubtedly in well-marked cases a desire of submis- 
sion to the female's will, and a craving to experience in some 
physical or psychic form, not necessarily painful, the manifesta- 
tions of her activity. 

When we turn from vague and unpronounced forms of the 
masochistic tendency to the more definite forms in which it 
becomes an unquestionable sexual perversion, we find a very 
eminent and fairly typical example in Rousseau, an example 
all the more interesting because here the subject has himself 
portrayed his perversion in his famous Confessions. It is, how- 
ever, the name of a less eminent author, the Austrian novelist, 
Sacher-Masoch, which has become identified with the perversion 
through the fact that Krafft-Ebing fixed upon it as furnishing 
a convenient counterpart to the term "sadism." It is on the 
strength of a considerable number of his novels and stories, more 
especially of Die Venus irn Pelz, that Krafft-Ebing took the 
scarcely warrantable liberty of identifying his name, while yet 
living, with a sexual perversion. 

should cause her to be wrathful with me. Then when I did but hear 
her voice, the voice of her anger, a child shall I be for fear." (Wiede- 
mann, Popular Literature in Ancient Egypt, p. 9.) The activity and 
independence of the Egyptian women at the time may well have offered 
many opportunities to the ancient Egyptian masoehist. 

l Colin Scott, "Sex and Art," American Journal of Psychology, 
vol. vii, No. 2, p. 208. 



Sacher-Masoeh's biography has been written with intimate knowl- 
edge and much candor by C. F. von Schliehtegroll (Saelier-ilasoch und 
der Masochismus, 1901) and, more indirectly, by his first wife Wanda 
von Sacher-llasoch in her autobiography (Heine Lebensbeichte, 1906; 
French translation, Confession de ma Tie, 1907). Schlichtegroll's book 
is written with a somewhat undue attempt to exalt his hero and to at- 
tribute his misfortunes to his first wife. The autobiography of the 
latter, however, enables us to form a more complete picture of Sacher- 
Masoeh's life, for, while his wife by no means spares herself, she clearly 
shows that Sacher-llasoch was the victim of his own abnormal tempera- 
ment, and she presents both the sensitive, refined, exalted, and generous 
aspects of his nature, and his morbid, imaginative, vain aspects. 

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was born in 1836 at Lemberg in 
Galicia. He was of Spanish, German, and more especially Slavonic 
race. The founder of the family may be said to be a certain Don 
Matthias Sacher, a young Spanish nobleman, in the sixteenth century, 
who settled in Prague. The novelist's father was director of police in 
Lemberg and married Charlotte von Masoch, a Little Russian lady of 
noble birth. The novelist, the eldest child of this union, was not born 
until after nine years of marriage, and in infancy was so delicate that 
he was not expected to survive. He began to improve, however, when 
his mother gave him to be suckled to a robust Russian peasant woman, 
from whom, as he said later, he gained not only health, but "his soul"; 
from her he learned all the strange and melancholy legends of her 
people and a love of the Little Russians which never left him. While 
still a child young Sacher- JIasoch was in the midst of the bloody scenes 
of the revolution which culminated in 1848. When he was 12 the 
family migrated to Prague, and the boy, though precocious in his 
development, then first learned the German language, of which he at- 
tained so fine a mastery. At a very early age he had found the 
atmosphere, and even some of the most characteristic elements, of the 
peculiar types which mark, his work as a novelist. 

It is interesting to trace the germinal elements of those peculiari- 
ties which so strongly affected his imagination on the sexual side. As 
a child, he was greatly attracted by representations of cruelty; he 
loved to gaze at pictures of executions, the legends of martyrs were his 
favorite reading, and with the onset of puberty he regularly dreamed 
that he was fettered and in the power of a cruel woman who tortured 
him. It has been said by an anonymous author that the women of 
Galicia either rule their husbands entirely and make them their slaves 
or themselves sink to be the wretchedest of slaves. At the age of 10, 
according to Schlichtegroll's narrative, the child Leopold witnessed a 
scene in which a woman of the former kind, » certain Countess Xenobia 


X., a, relative of his own on the paternal side, played the chief part, and 
this scene left an undying impress on his imagination. The Countess 
was a beautiful but wanton creature, and the child adored her, im- 
pressed alike by her beauty and the costly furs she wore. She accepted 
his devotion and little services and would sometimes allow him to assist 
her in dressing; on one occasion, as he was kneeling before her to put 
on her ermine slippers, he kissed her feet; she smiled and gave him a 
kick which filled him with pleasure. Not long afterward occurred the 
episode which so profoundly affected his imagination. He was playing 
with his sisters at hide-and-seek and had carefully hidden himself behind 
the dresses on a clothes-rail in the Countess's bedroom. At this mo- 
ment the Countess suddenly entered the house and ascended the stairs, 
followed by a. lover, and the child, who dared not betray his presence, 
saw the countess sink down on a sofa and begin to caress her lover. But 
a few moments later the husband, accompanied by two friends, dashed 
into the room. Before, however, he could decide which of the lovers to 
turn against the Countess had risen and struck him so powerful a blow 
in the face with her fist that he fell back streaming with blood. She 
then seized a whip, drove all three men out of the room, and in the 
confusion the lover slipped away. At this moment the clothes-rail fell 
and the child, the involuntary witness of the scene, was revealed to the 
Countess, who now fell on him in anger, threw him to the ground, 
pressed her knee on his shoulder, and struck him unmercifully. The 
pain was great, and yet he was conscious of a strange pleasure. While 
this eastigation was proceeding the Count returned, no longer in a, rage, 
but meek and humble as a slave, and kneeled down before her to beg 
forgiveness. As the boy escaped he saw her kick her husband. The 
child could not resist the temptation to return to the spot; the door 
was closed and he could see nothing, but he heard the sound of the 
whip and the groans of the Count beneath his wife's blows. 

It is unnecessary to insist that in this scene, acting on a highly 
sensitive and somewhat peculiar child, we have the key to the emotional 
attitude which affected so much of Saeher-Ma'soch's work. As his 
biographer remarks, woman became to him, during a considerable part 
of his life, a creature at once to be loved and hated, a being whose 
beauty and brutality enabled her to set her foot at will on the necks 
of men, and in the heroine of his first important novel, the Emissar, 
dealing with the Polish Revolution, he embodied the contradictory 
personality of Countess Xenobia. Even the whip and the fur garments, 
Saeher-Masoeh's favorite emotional symbols, find their explanation in 
this early episode. He was accustomed to say of an attractive woman: 
"I should like to see her in furs," and, of an unattractive woman: "I 
could not imagine her in furs." His writing-paper at one time was 


adorned with the figure of a woman in Russian Boyar costume, her 
cloak lined with ermine, and brandishing a scourge. On his walls he 
liked to hare pictures of women in furs, of the kind of which there is 
so magnificent an example by Rubens in the gallery at Munich. He 
would even keep a, woman's fur cloak on an ottoman in his study and 
stroke it from time to time, finding that his brain thus received the 
same kind of stimulation as Schiller found in the odor of rotten apples.l 

At the age of 13, in the revolution of 1848, young Saeher-llasoch 
received his baptism of fire; carried away in the popular movement, he 
helped to defend the barricades together with a young lady, a relative 
of his family, an amazon with a pistol in her girdle, such as later he 
loved to depict. This episode was, however, hut a. brief interruption of 
his education; he pursued his studies with brilliance, and on the higher 
side his education was aided by his father's esthetic tastes. Amateur 
theatricals were in special favor at his home, and here even the serious 
plays of Goethe and Gogol were performed, thus helping to train and 
direct the boy's taste. It is, perhaps, however, significant that it was 
a tragic event which, at the age of 16, first brought to him the full 
realization of life and the consciousness of his own power. This was 
the sudden death of his favorite sister. He became serious and quiet, 
and always regarded this grief as a turning-point in his life. 

At the Universities of Prague and Graz he studied with such zeal 
that when only 19 he took his doctor's degree in law and shortly after- 
ward became a privatdocent for German history at Graz. Gradually, 
however, the charms of literature asserted themselves definitely, and 
he soon abandoned teaching. He took part, however, in the war of 
1866 in Italy, and at the battle of Solferino he was decorated on the 
field for bravery in action by the Austrian field-marshal. These in- 
cidents, however, had little disturbing influence on Sacher-itasoeh's 
literary career, and he was gradually acquiring a European reputation 
bv his novels and stories. 

i It must not be supposed that the attraction of fur or of the whip 
is altogether accounted for by such a casual early experience as in 
Sacher-ilasoch's case served to evoke it. The whip we shall have to 
consider briefly later on. The fascination exerted by fur, whether mani- 
festing itself as love or fear, would appear to be very common in many 
children, and almost instinctive. Stanley Hall, in his ''Study of Fears'' 
(American Journal of Psychology, vol. viii, p. 213) has obtained as 
many as 111 well-developed cases of fear of fur, or, as he terms it, 
doraphobia, in some cases appearing as early as the age of 6 months, 
and he gives many examples. He remarks that the love of fur is 
still more common, and concludes that "both this love and fear are 
so strong and instinctive that they can hardly be fully accounted for 
without recourse to a time when association with animals was far closer 
than now, or perhaps when our remote ancestors were hairy." (Cf. 
"Erotic Symbolism," iv, in the fifth volume of these Studies.) 


A far more seriously disturbing influence had already begun to be 
exerted on his life by a series of love-episodes. Some of these were of 
slight and ephemeral character; some were a source of unalloyed happi- 
ness, all the more so if there was an element of extravagance to appeal 
to his Quixotic nature. He always longed to give a dramatic and 
romantic character to his life, his wife says, and he spent some blissful 
days on an occasion when he ran away to Florence with a Russian 
princess as her private secretary. Most often these episodes culminated 
in deception and misery. It was after a relationship of this kind from 
which he could not free himself for four years that he wrote Die 
Geschiederw Frau, Passionsgeschichte eines Idealisten, putting into it 
much of his own personal history. At one time he was engaged to a, 
sweet and charming young girl. Then it was that he met a young 
woman at Graz, Laura Riimelin, 27 years of age, engaged as a glove- 
maker, and living with her mother. Though of poor parentage, with 
little or no knowledge of the world, she had great natural ability and 
intelligence. Schlichtegroll represents her as spontaneously engaging 
in a mysterious intrigue with the novelist. Her own detailed narrative 
renders the circumstances more intelligible. She approached Sacher- 
Masoch by letter, adopting for disguise the name of his heroine Wanda 
von Dunajev, in order to recover possession of some compromising 
letters which had been written to him, as a joke, by a friend of hers. 
Sacher-Masoch insisted on seeing his correspondent before returning 
the letters, and with his eager thirst for romantic adventure he 
imagined that she was a married woman of the aristocratic world, 
probably a Russian countess, whose simple costume was a disguise. 
Not anxious to reveal the prosaic facts, she humored him in his 
imaginations and a web of mystification was thus formed. A strong 
attraction grew up on both sides and, though for some time Laura 
Riimelin maintained the mystery and held herself aloof from him, a 
relationship was formed and a child born. Thereupon, in 1893, they 
married. Before long, however, there was disillusion on both sides. 
She began to detect the morbid, chimerical, and unpractical aspects of 
his character, and he realized that not only was his wife not an 
aristocrat, but, what was of more importance to him, she was by no 
means the domineering heroine of his dreams. Soon after marriage, in 
the course of an innocent romp in which the whole of the small 
household took part, he asked his wife to inflict a whipping on him. 
She refused, and he thereupon suggested that the servant should do it; 
the wife failed to take this idea seriously; but he had it carried out, 
with great satisfaction at the severity of the castigation he received. 
When, however, his wife explained to him that, after this incident, it 
was impossible for the servant to stay, Sacher-Masoch .quite agreed and 


she was at once discharged. But lie constantly found pleasure in 
placing his wife in awkward or compromising circumstances, a pleasure 
she was too normal to share. This necessarily led to much domestic 
wretchedness. He had persuaded her, against her wish, to whip him 
nearly every day, with whips which he devised, having nails attached 
to them. He found this a stimulant to his literary work, and it enabled 
him to dispense in his novels with his stereotyped heroine who is 
always engaged in subjugating men, for, as he explained to his wife, 
when he had the reality in his life he was no longer obsessed by it in 
his imaginative dreams. Not content with this, however, he was con- 
stantly desirous for his wife to be unfaithful. He even put an adver- 
tisement in a, newspaper to the effect that a young and beautiful woman 
desired to make the acquaintance of an energetic man. The wife, how- 
ever, though she wished to please her husband, was not anxious to do 
so to this extent. She went to an hotel by appointment to meet a, 
stranger who had answered this advertisement, but when she had ex- 
plained to him the state of affairs he chivalrously conducted her home. 
It was some time before Sacher-Masoch eventually succeeded in render- 
ing his wife unfaithful. He attended to the minutest details of her 
toilette on this occasion, and as he bade her farewell at the door he 
exclaimed: "How I envy him!" This episode thoroughly humiliated 
the wife, and from that moment her love for her husband turned to 
hate. A final separation was only a question of time. Sacher-Masoch 
formed a relationship with Hulda Meister, who had come to act as 
secretary and translator to him, while his wife became attached to 
Rosenthal, a clever journalist later known to readers of the Figaro as 
"Jacques St.-Cere," who realized her painful position and felt sympathy 
and affection for her. She went to live with him in Paris and, having 
refused to divorce her husband, he eventually obtained a divorce from 
her; she states, however, that she never at any time had physical 
relationships with Rosenthal, who was a man of fragile organization 
and health. Sacher-Masoch united himself to Hulda Meister, who is 
described by the first wife as a prim and faded but coquettish old 
maid, and by the biographer as a highly accomplished and gentle 
woman, who cared for him with almost maternal devotion. No doubt 
there is truth in both descriptions. It must be noted that, as Wanda 
clearly shows, apart from his abnormal sexual temperament, Sacher- 
Masoch was kind and sympathetic, and he was strongly attached to his 
eldest child. Eulenburg also quotes the statement of a, distinguished 
Austrian woman writer acquainted with him that, "apart from his 
sexual eccentricities, he was an amiable, simple, and sympathetic man 
with «. touchingly tender love for his children." He had very few needs, 
did not drink or smoke, and though he liked to put the woman he 


■was attached to in rich furs and fantastically gorgeous raiment he 
dressed himself with extreme simplicity. His wife quotes the saying of 
another woman that he was as simple as a child and as naughty as a. 

In 1883 Sacher-Masoch and Hulda Meister settled in Lindheim, a 
Tillage in Germany near the Taunus, a, spot to which the novelist seems 
to have been attached because in the grounds of his little estate was a 
haunted and ruined tower associated with a tragic medieval episode. 
Here, after many legal delays, Sacher-Masoch was able to render his 
•union with Hulda Meister legitimate; here two children were in due 
course born, and here the novelist spent .the remaining years of his life 
in comparative peace. At first, as is usual, treated with suspicion by 
the peasants, Sacher-Masoch gradually acquired great influence over 
them; he became a kind of Tolstoy in the rural life around him, the 
friend and confidant of all the villagers (something of Tolstoy's com- 
munism is also, it appears, to be seen in the books he wrote at this 
time), while the theatrical performances which he inaugurated, and in 
which his wife took an active part, spread the fame of the household in 
many neighboring villages. Meanwhile his health began to break up; 
a visit to Nauheim in 1894 was of no benefit, and he died March 9, 

A careful consideration of the phenomena of sadism and 
masochism may be said to lead us to the conclusion that there 
is no real line of demarcation. Even De Sade himself was not 
a, pure sadist, as Bloch's careful definition is alone sufficient 
to indicate; it might even be argued that De Sade was really 
a masochist; the investigation of histories of sadism and maso- 
chism, even those given by Krafft-Ebing (as, indeed, Colin 
Scott and Pere have already pointed out), constantly reveals 
"traces of both groups of phenomena in the same individual. 
They cannot, therefore, be regarded as opposed manifestations. 
This has been felt by some writers, who have, in consequence, 
proposed other names more clearly indicating the' relationship 
of the phenomena. Fere speaks of sexual algophily 1 ; he only 
applies the term to masochism ; it might equally well be applied 
to sadism. Schrenck-Notzing, to cover both sadism and maso- 
chism, has invented the term algolagnia (oh/yog, pain, and T^cuy- 
vog, sexually excited), and calls the former active, the latter 

1 Fgrfi, L'lnstitwt Seocuel, p. 138. 


passive, algolagnia. 1 Eulenburg has also emphasized the close 
connection between these groups of perverted sexual mani- 
festations, and has adopted the same terms, adding the further 
group of ideal (illusionary) algolagnia, to cover the cases in 
which the mere autosuggestive representation of pain, inflicted 
or suffered, suffices to give sexual gratification. 2 

A brief discussion of the terms "sadism" and "masochism" 
has imposed itself upon us at this point because as soon as, in 
any study of the relationship between love and pain, we pass 
over the limits of normal manifestations into a region which 
is more or less abnormal, these two conceptions are always 
brought before us, and it was necessary to show on what 
grounds they are here rejected as the pivots on which the dis- 
cussion ought to turn. We may accept them as useful terms 
to indicate two groups of clinical phenomena; but we cannot 
regard them as of any real scientific value. Having reached 
this result, we may continue our consideration of the love-bite, 
as the normal manifestation of the connection between love 
and pain which most naturally leads us across the frontier of 
the abnormal. 

The result of the love-bite in its extreme degree is to shed 
blood. This cannot be regarded as the direct aim of the bite 
in its normal manifestations, for the mingled feelings of close 
contact, of passionate gripping, of symbolic devouring, which 
constitute the emotional accompaniments of the bite would be 
too violently discomposed by actual wounding and real shed- 
ding of blood. With some persons, however, perhaps more espe- 
cially women, the love-bite is really associated with a conscious 
desire, even if more or less restrained, to draw blood, a real 
delight in this process, a love of blood. Probably this only 
occurs in persons who are not absolutely normal, but on the 
border-land of the abnormal. We have to admit that this crav- 
ing has, however, a perfectly normal basis. There is scarcely any 

i Schrenek-Xotzing, Zeitschrift fiir Eypnotismus, Bd. ix, ht. 2, 

2 Eulenburg, Sadismus und ilasochismus, second edition, 1911, 
p. 5. 


natural object with so profoundly emotional an effect as blood, 
and it is very easy to understand why this should be so. 1 More- 
over, blood enters into the sphere of courtship by virtue of the 
same conditions by which cruelty enters into it; they are both 
accidents of combat, and combat is of the very essence of 
animal and primitive human courtship, certainly its most fre- 
quent accompaniment. So that the repelling or attracting 
fascination of blood may be regarded as a by-product of nor- 
mal courtship, which, like other such by-products, may become 
an essential element of abnormal courtship. 2 

Normally the fascination of blood, if present at all during 
sexual excitement, remains more or less latent, either because 
it is weak or because the checks that inhibit it are inevitably 
very powerful. Occasionally it becomes more clearly manifest, 
and this may happen early in life. Fere records the case of a 
man of Anglo-Saxon origin, of sound heredity so far as could be 
ascertained and presenting no obvious stigmata of degeneration, 
who first experienced sexual manifestations at the age of 5 when 
a boy cousin was attacked by bleeding at the nose. It was the 
first time he had seen such a thing and he experienced erection 
and much pleasure at the sight. This was repeated the next 
time the cousin's nose bled and also whenever he witnessed any 
injuries or wounds, especially when occurring in males. A few 
years later he began to find pleasure in pinching and otherwise 
inflicting slight suffering. This sadism was not, however, further 
developed, although a tendency to inversion persisted. 3 

1 1 have elsewhere dealt with this point in discussing the special 
emotional tone of red (Havelock Ellis, "The Psychology of Red," Pop- 
ular Science Monthly, August and September, 1900). 

2 It is probable that the motive of sexual murders is nearly al- 
ways to shed blood, and not to cause death. Leppmann (Bulletin Inter- 
nationale de Droit Penal, vol. vi, 1896, p. 115) points out that such 
murders are generally produced by wounds in the neck or mutilation 
of the abdomen, never by wounds of the head. T. Claye Shaw, who 
terms the lust for blood hemothymia, has written an interesting and 
suggestive paper ("A Prominent Motive in Murder," Lancet, June 19, 
1909) on the natural fascination of blood. Blumriider, in 1830, seems 
to have been the first who definitely called attention to the connection 
between lust and blood. 

3 Fgre, Revile de Chirurgie, March 10, 1905. 


Somewhat similar may have been the origin of the attraction of 
blood in a, ease which has been reported to me of a youth of 17, the 
youngest of a large family who are all very strong and entirely normal. 
He is himself, however, delicate, overgrown, with a narrow chest, a. 
small head, and babyish features, while mentally he is backward, with 
very defective memory and scant powers of assimilation. He is in- 
tensely nervous, peevish, and subject to fits of childish rage. He 
takes violent fancies to persons of his own sex. But he appears to 
have only one way of obtaining sexual excitement and gratification. It 
is his custom to get into a hot bath and there to produce erection and 
emission, not by masturbation, but by thinking of flowing blood. He 
does not associate himself with the causation of this imaginary flow 
of blood; he is merely the passive but pleased spectator. He is aware 
of his peculiarity and endeavors to shake it off, but his efforts to 
obtain normal pleasure by thinking of a girl are vain. 

I may here narrate a case which has been communicated to me 
of algolagnia in a woman, combined with sexual hyperesthesia. 

E.. D., aged 25, married, and of good social position; she is a, 
small and dark woman, restless and alert in manner. She has one 

She has practised masturbation from an early age — ever since she 
can remember — by the method of external friction and pressure. From 
the age of 17 she was able (and is still) to produce the orgasm almost 
without effort, by calling up the image of any man who had struck her 
fancy. She has often done so while seated talking to such a man, 
even when he is almost a stranger; in doing it, she says, a. tightening 
of the muscles of the thighs and the slightest movement are sufficient. 
Cgly men (if not deformed), as well as men with the reputation of 
being roues, greatly excite her sexually, more especially if of good 
social position, though this is not essential. 

At the age of 18 she became hysterical, probably, she herself be- 
lieves, in consequence of a great increase at that time of indulgence 
in masturbation. The doctors, apparently suspecting her habits, urged 
her parents to get her married early. She married, at the age of 20, 
a man about twice her own age. 

As a child (and in ■* less degree still) she was very fond of 
watching dog-fights. This spectacle produced strong sexual feelings and 
usually orgasm, especially if much blood was shed during the fight. 
Clean cuts and wounds greatly attract her, whether on herself or a 
man. She has frequently slightly cut or scratched herself "to see the 
blood," and likes to suck the wound, thinking the taste "delicious.'' 
This produces strong sexual feelings and often orgasm, especially if at 
the time she thinks of some attractive man and imagines that she is 


sucking his blood. The sight of injury to a woman only very slightly 
affects her, and that, she thinks, only because of an involuntary associa- 
tion of ideas. Nor has the sight of suffering in illness any exciting 
effects, only that which is due to violence, and when there is a visible 
cause for the suffering, s\ich as cuts and wounds. (Bruises, from the 
absence of blood, have only a slight effect.) The excitement is intensi- 
fied if she imagines that she has herself inflicted the injury. She likes 
to imagine that the man wished to rape her, and that she fought him 
in order to make him more greatly value her favor, so wounding him. 

Impersonal ideas of torture also excite her. She thinks Fox's 
Book of Martyrs "lovely," and the more horrible and bloody the tortures 
described the greater is the sexual excitement produced. The book 
excites her from the point of view of the torturer, not that of the 
victim. She has frequently masturbated while reading it. 

So far as practicable she has sought to carry out these ideas in 
her relations with her husband. She has several times bitten him till 
the blood came and sucked the bite during coitus. She likes to bite 
him enough to make him wince. The pleasure is greatly heightened by 
thinking of various tortures, chiefly by cutting. She likes to have her 
husband talk to her, and she to him, of all the tortures they could 
inflict on each other. She has, however, never actually tried to carry 
out these tortures. She would like to, but dares not, as she is sure 
he could not endure them. She has no desire for her husband to try 
them on her, although she likes to hear him talk about it. 

She is at the same time fond of normal coitus, even to excess. 
She likes her husband to remain entirely passive during connection, 
so that he can continue in a state of strong erection for a long time. 
She can thus, she says, procure for herself the orgasm a, number of 
times in succession, even nine or ten, quite easily. On one occasion 
she even had the orgasm twenty-six times within about one and » 
quarter hours, her husband during this time having two orgasms; 
(She is quite certain about the accuracy of this statement.) During 
this feat much talk about torture was indulged in, and it took place 
after a month's separation from her husband, during which she was 
careful not to masturbate, so that she might have "a real good time" 
when he came back. She acknowledges that on this occasion she was 
a "complete wreck" for a couple of days afterward, but states that 
usually ten or » dozen orgasms (or spasms, as she terms them) only 
make her "feel lively." She becomes frenzied with excitement during 
intercourse and insensible to everything but the pleasure of it. 

She has never hitherto allowed anyone (except her husband after 
marriage) to know of her sadistic impulses, nor has she carried them 
out with anyone, though she would like to, if she dared. Nor has she 


allowed any man but her husband to bare connection with her or to 
take any liberties. 

Outbursts of sadism may occur episodically in fairly normal 
persons. Thus, Coutagne describes the case of a lad of 17 — 
always regarded as quite normal, and without any signs of 
degeneracy, even on careful examination, or any traces of hysteria 
or alcoholism, though there was insanity among his cousins — 
who had had occasional sexual relations for a year or two, 
and on one occasion, being in a state of erection, struck the 
girl three times on the breast and abdomen with a kitchen 
knife bought for the purpose. He was much ashamed of his 
act immediately afterward, and, all the circumstances being 
taken into consideration, he was acquitted by the court. 1 Here 
we seem to haye the obscure and latent fascination of blood, 
which is almost normal, germinating momentarily into an active 
impulse which is distinctly abnormal, though it produced little 
beyond those incisions which Yatsyayana disapproved of, but 
still regarded as a part of courtship. One step more and we 
are amid the most outrageous and extreme of all forms of 
sexual perversion: with the heroes of De Sade's novels, who, 
in exemplification of their author's most cherished ideals, plan 
scenes of debauchery in which the flowing of blood is an 
essential element of coitus; with the Marshall Gilles de Eais 
and the Hungarian Countess Bathory, whose lust could only 
be satiated by the death of innumerable victims. 

This impulse to stab — with no desire to kill, or even in most 
cases to give pain, but only to draw blood and so either stimulate or 
altogether gratify the sexual impulse — is no doubt the commonest form 
of sanguinary sadism. These women-stabbers have been known in 
France as piqueurs for nearly a century, and in Germany are termed 
Meeker or Xtessersteeher (they have been studied by Nacke, "Zur 
Psychologie der sadistisehen Messersteeher," Archiv fiir Kriminalan- 
thropologie, Bd. 35, 1909). A case of this kind where a man stabbed 

1H. Coutagne, "Cas de Perversion Sanguinaire de. l'lnstinct 
Sesuel," Annales ili'dico-Psychologiques, July and August, 1893. D. S. 
Booth [Alienist and Scurologist, Aug., 1906) describes the ease of a 
man of neurotic heredity who slightly stabbed a woman with a penknife 
when on his way to a prostitute. 


girls in the abdomen occurred in Paris in the middle of the eighteenth 
century, and in 1819 or 1820 there seems to have been an epidemic of 
piqueurs in Paris; as we learn from a letter of Charlotte von Schiller's 
to Knebel; the offenders (though perhaps there was only one) fre- 
quented the Boulevards and the Palais Eoyal and stabbed women in 
the buttocks or thighs; they were never caught. About the same time 
similar cases of a slighter kind occurred in London, Brussels, Hamburg, 
and Munich. 

Stabbers are nearly always men, but cases of the same perversion 
in women are not unknown. Thus Dr. Kiernan informs me of an 
Irish woman, aged 40, and at the beginning of the menopause, who, in 
New York in 1909, stabbed five men with a, hatpin. The motive was 
sexual and she told one of the men that she stabbed him because she 
"loved" him. 

Gilles de Rais, who had fought beside Joan of Arc, is the classic 
example of sadism in its extreme form, involving the murder of youths 
and maidens. Bernelle considers that there is some truth in the conten- 
tion of Huysmans that the association with Joan of Are was a predispos- 
ing cause in unbalancing Gilles de Rais. Another cause was his luxurious 
habit of life. He himself, no doubt rightly, attached importance to the 
suggestions received in reading Suetonius. He appears to have been a 
sexually precocious child, judging from an obscure passage in his con- 
fessions. He was artistic and scholarly, fond of books, of the society 
of learned men, and of music. Bernelle sums him up as "a pious war- 
rior, a cruel and keen artist, a voluptuous assassin, an exalted mystic," 
who was at the same time unbalanced, a, superior degenerate, and 
morbidly impulsive. (The best books on Gilles de Rais are the Abbe 
Bossard's Grilles de Rais, in which, however, the author, being a priest, 
treats his subject as quite sane and abnormally wicked; Huysmans's 
novel, Ld-Bas, which embodies a detailed study of Gilles de Rais, and 
F. H. Bernelle's These de Paris, La Psychose de Gilles de Rais, 1910.) 

The opinion has been hazarded that the history of Gilles de Rais 
is merely a legend. This view is not accepted, but there can be no doubt 
that the sadistic manifestations which occurred in the Middle Ages were 
mixed up with legendary and folk-lore elements. These elements 
centered on the conception of the werwolf, supposed to be a man 
temporarily transformed into a, wolf with bloodthirsty impulses. (See, 
e.g., articles "Werwolf" and "Lycanthropy" in Encyclopcedia Britannica. ) 
France, especially, was infested with werwolves in the sixteenth cen- 
tury. In 1603, however, it was decided at Bordeaux, in a. trial in- 
volving a werwolf, that lycanthropy was only an insane delusion. 
Dumas ("Les Loup-Garous," Journal de Psychologie Normale et 
Pathologicpie, May- June, 1907) argues that the medieval werwolves were 


sadists whose crimes were largely imaginative, though sometimes real, 
the predecessor of the modern Jack the Ripper. The complex nature of 
the elements making up the belief in the werwolf is emphasized by 
Ernest Jones, Der Alptraum, 1912. 

Related to the werwolf, but distinct, was the vampire, supposed to 
be a, dead person who rose from the dead to suck the blood of the 
living during sleep. By way of reprisal the living dug up, exorcised, 
and mutilated the supposed vampires. This was called vampirism. The 
name vampire was then transferred to the living person who had so 
treated a corpse. All profanation of the corpse, whatever its origin, 
is now frequently called vampirism (Epaulow, Vampirisme, Those de 
Lyon, 1901; id., "Le Vampire du Muy," Archives d'Anthropologie 
Criminclle, Sept., 1903 ) . The earliest definite reference to neerophily is 
in Herodotus, who tells (bk. ii, eh. lxxxix) of an Egyptian who had con- 
nection with the corpse of a woman recently dead. Epaulow gives 
various old cases and, at full length, the case which he himself in- 
vestigated, of Ardisson, the "Vampire du Muy." W. A. F. Browne also 
has an interesting article on "Necrophilism" {Journal of Mental Sci- 
ence, Jan., 1875) which he regards as atavistic. When there is, in ad- 
dition, mutilation of the corpse, the condition is termed necrosadism. 
There seems usually to be no true sadism in either necrosadism or 
necrophilism. (See, however, Bloch, Beitrdge, vol. ii, p. 284 et seq.) 

It must be said also that cases of rape followed by murder are quite 
commonly not sadistic. The type of such cases is represented by 
Soleilland, who raped and then murdered children. He showed no 
sadistic perversion. He merely killed to prevent discovery, as a burglar 
who is interrupted may commit murder in order to escape. (E. Duprg, 
"L'Affaire Soleilland," Archives d'Anthropologie Griminelle, Jan.-Feb., 

A careful and elaborate study of a completely developed sadist 
has been furnished by Laeassagne, Rousset, and Papillon ("L' Affaire 
Reidal," Archives $ Anthropologic Griminelle, Oct. -Nov., 1907 ) . Reidal, 
■a, youth of 18, a, seminarist, was a, congenital sanguinary sadist who 
killed another youth and was finally sent to an asylum. From the age 
of 4 he had voluptuous ideas connected with blood and killing, and 
liked to play at killing with other children. He was of infantile 
physical development, with a pleasant, childish expression of face, very 
religious, and hated obscenity and immorality. But the love of blood 
and murder was an irresistible obsession and its gratification produced 
immense emotional relief. 

Sadism generally has been especially studied by Laeassagne, 
Tacher I'Eeentreur et les Crimes Sadiques, 1899. Zoosadism, or sadism 
toward animals, has been dealt with by P. Thomas, "Le Sadisme sur les 


Animaux," Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle, Sept., 1903. Auto- 
sadism, or "auto-erotic cruelty," that is to say, injuries inflicted on a 
person by himself with a sexual motive, has been investigated by G. 
Bach (Seoeuelle Yerrirungen des Menschen und der Nature, p. 427) ; this 
condition seems, however, a form of algolagnia more masochistic than 
sadistic in character. 

With regard to the medicolegal aspects, Kiernan ("Responsibility 
in Active Algophily," Medicine, April, 1903) sets forth the reasons in 
favor of the full and complete responsibility of sadists, and Harold 
Moyer comes to the same conclusion ("Is Sexual Perversion Insanity?" 
Alienist and Neurologist, May, 1907). See also Thoinot's Medicolegal 
Aspects of Moral Offenses ( edited by Weysse, 1911), ch. xviii. While 
we are probably justified in considering the sadist as morally not 
insane in the technical sense, we must remember that he is, for the 
most part, highly abnormal from the outset. As Gaupp points out 
(Beacual-Prooleme, Oct., 1909, p. 797), we cannot measure the influences 
which create the sadist and we must not therefore attempt to "punish" 
him, but we are bound to place him in a, position where he will not 
injure society. 

It is enough here to emphasize the fact that there is no 
solution of continuity in the links that bind the absolutely normal 
manifestations of sex with the most extreme violations of all 
human lav. This is so true that in saying that these manifesta- 
tions are violations of all human law we cannot go on to add, 
what would seem fairly obvious, that they are violations also of 
all natural law. We have but to go sufficiently far back, or 
sufficiently far afield, in the various zoological series to find 
that manifestations which, from the human point of view, are 
in the extreme degree abnormally sadistic here become actually 
normal. Among very various species wounding and rending 
normally take place at or immediately after coitus; if we go 
back to the beginning of animal life in the protozoa sexual con- 
jugation itself is sometimes found to present the similitude, if 
not the actuality, of the complete devouring of one organism by 
another. Over a very large part of nature, as it has been truly 
said, '^but a thin veil divides love from death." 1 

l Kiernan appears to have been the first to suggest the bearing of 
these facts on sadism, which he would regard as the abnormal human 
form of phenomena which may be found at the very beginning of animal 


There is, indeed, on the whole, a point of difference. In 
that abnormal sadism which appears from time to time among 
civilized human beings it is nearly always the female who be- 
comes the victim of the male. But in the normal sadism which 
occurs throughout a large part of nature it is nearly always 
the male who is the victim of the female. It is the male spider 
who impregnates the female at the risk of his life and some- 
times perishes in the attempt; it is the male bee who, after 
intercourse with the queen, falls dead from that fatal embrace, 
leaving her to fling aside his entrails and calmly pursue her 
course. 1 If it may seem to some that the course of our inquiry 
leads us to contemplate with equanimity, as a natural phenom- 
enon, a certain semblance of cruelty in man in his relations with 
woman, they may, if they will, reflect that this phenomenon 
is but a very slight counterpoise to that cruelty which has been 
naturally exerted by the female on the male long even before 
man began to be. 

life, as, indeed, the survival or atavistic reappearance of a primitive 
sexual cannibalism. See his "Psychological Aspects of the Sexual Ap- 
petite," Alienist and Neurologist, April, 1891, and "Responsibility in 
Sexual Perversion," Chicago Medical Recorder, March, 1892. Penta 
has also independently developed the conception of the biological basis 
of sadism and other sexual perversions (7 Pervertimenti Sessuali, 1893). 
It must be added that, as feemy de Gourmont points out (Promenades 
Philosophiques, 2d series, p. 273), this sexual cannibalism exerted by 
the female may have, primarily, no erotic significance: "She eats him 
because she is hungry and because when exhausted he is an easy prey." 
l In the chapter entitled "Le Vol Nuptial" of his charming book 
on the life of bees Maeterlinck has given an incomparable picture of 
the tragic courtship of these insects. 


Flagellation as a Typical Illustration of Algolagnia — Causes of 
Connection between Sexual Emotion and Whipping — Physical Causes — 
Psychic Causes probably more Important — The Varied Emotional Asso- 
ciations of Whipping — Its Wide Prevalence. 

The whole problem of love and pain, in its complementary 
sadistic and masochistic aspects, is presented to us in connec- 
tion 'with the pleasure sometimes experienced in whipping, or 
in being whipped, or in witnessing or thinking about scenes 
of whipping. The association of sexual emotion with blood- 
shed is so extreme a perversion, it so swiftly sinks to phases 
that are obviously cruel, repulsive, and monstrous in an extreme 
degree, that it is necessarily rare, and those who are afflicted 
by it are often more or less imbecile. With whipping it is 
otherwise. Whipping has always been a recognized religious 
penance; it is still regarded as a beneficial and harmless, method 
of chastisement; there is nothing necessarily cruel, repulsive, 
or monstrous in the idea or the reality of whipping, and it is 
perfectly easy and natural for an interest in the subject to 
arise in an innocent and even normal child, and thus to furnish 
a germ around which, temporarily at all events, sexual ideas 
may crystallize. For these reasons the connection between 
love and pain may be more clearly brought out in connection 
with whipping than with blood. 

There is, by no means, any necessary connection between 
flagellation and the sexual emotions. If there were, this form 
of penance would not have been so long approved or at all events 
tolerated by the Church. 1 

1 The discipline or scourge was classed with fasting as a method 
of mastering the flesh and of penance. See, e.g., Lea, History of Auricu- 
lar Confession, vol. ii, p. 122. For many centuries bishops and priests 
used themselves to apply the discipline to their penitents. At first it 
was applied to the back; later, especially in the case of female peni- 
tents, it was frequently applied to the nates. Moreover, partial or 
complete nudity came to be frequently demanded, the humiliation thereby 
caused being pleasant in the sight of God. 

9 (129) 


As a matter of fact, indeed, it was not always approved or 
even tolerated. Pope Adrian IT in the eighth century forbade 
priests to beat their penitents, and at the time of the epidemic 
of flagellation in the thirteenth century, which was highly ap- 
proved by many holy men, the abuses were yet so frequent that 
Clement TI issued a bull against these processions. All such 
papal prohibitions remained without effect. The association of 
religious flagellation with perverted sexual motives is shown by 
its condemnation in later ages by the Inquisition, which was ac- 
customed to prosecute the priests who, in prescribing flagellation 
as a penance, exerted it personally, or caused it to be inflicted 
on the stripped penitent in his presence, or made a woman 
penitent discipline him, such offences being regarded as forms 
of "solicitation/' 1 There seems even to be some reason to 
suppose that the religious flagellation mania which was so 
prevalent in the later Middle Ages, when processions of peni- 
tents, male and female, eagerly flogged themselves and each 
other, may have had something to do with the discovery of erotic 
flagellation, 2 which, at all events in Europe, seems scarcely to 
have been known before the sixteenth century. It must, in any 
case, have assisted to create a predisposition. The introduction 
of flagellation as a definitely recognized sexual stimulant is by 
Eulenburg, in his interesting book, Sadismus und Masochismiis, 
attributed to the Arabian physicians. It would appear to have 
been by the advice of an Arabian physician that the Duchess 
Leonora Gonzaga, of Mantua, was whipped by her mother to 
aid her in responding more warmly to her husband's embraces 
and to conceive. 

Whatever the precise origin of sexual flagellation in Europe, 
there can be no doubt that it soon became extremely common, 
and so it remains at the present day. Those who possess a special 
knowledge of such matters declare that sexual flagellation is 

ilhilaure, Des Divinites, Gin4ratrices, ch. xv; Lea, History of 
Sacerdotal Celibacy, 3d ed., vol. ii, p. 278; Kiernan, "Asceticism as an 
Auto-erotism," Alienist and Neurologist, Aug., 1911. 

2 This is the opinion of Lowenfeld, TJeber die Sexuelle Konstitu- 
tion, p. 43. 


the most frequent of all sexual perversions in England. 1 This 
belief is, I know, shared by many people both inside and out- 
side England. However this may be, the tendency is certainly 
common. I doubt if it is any or at all less common in Germany, 
judging by the large number of books on the subject of flagella- 
tion which have been published in German. In a catalogue of 
"interesting books" on this and allied subjects issued by a 
German publisher and bookseller, I find that, of fifty-five 
volumes, as many as seventeen or eighteen, all in German, deal 
solely with the question of flagellation, while many of the other 
books appear to deal in part with the same subject. 2 It is, no 
doubt, true that the large part which the rod has played in the 
past history of our civilization justifies a considerable amount 
of scientific interest in the subject of flagellation, but it is clear 
that the interest in these books is by no means always scientific, 
but very frequently sexual. 

It is remarkable that, while the sexual associations of whipping, 
whether in slight or in marked degrees, are so frequent in modern times, 
they appear to be by no means easy to trace in ancient times. "Flagel- 
lation," I find it stated by a modern editor of the Priapeia, "so exten- 
sively practised in England as a provocation to venery, is almost entirely 
unnoticed by the Latin erotic writers, although, in the Saiyricon of 
Petronius (ch. cxxxviii), Encolpius, in describing the steps taken by 
(Enothea to undo the temporary impotence to which he was subjected, 
says: 'Next she mixed nasturtium-juice with southern wood, and, 

1 Thus, Diihren ( Iwan Bloeh ) remarks ( Der Marquis de Bade und 
Seine Zeit, 1901, p. 211) : "It is well known that England is today the 
classic land of sexual flagellation." See the same author's Geschlechts- 
leben in England, vol. ii, ch. vi. In America it appears also to be 
common, and Kiernan mentions that in advertisements of Chicago 
"massage shops" there often appears the announcement: "Flagellation 
a Specialty." The reports of police inspectors in eighteenth century 
France show how common flagellation then was in Paris. It may be 
added that various men of distinguished intellectual ability of recent 
times and earlier are reported as addicted to passive flagellation; this 
was the case with Helvetius. 

2 A full bibliography of flagellation would include many hundred 
items. The more important works on this subject, in connection with 
the sexual impulse, are enumerated by Eulenburg, in his Sadismus und 
Masochismus. An elaborate history of flagellation generally is now 
being written by Georg Collas, Geschichte des Flagellantismus, vol. i, 


having bathed my foreparts, she took a bunch of green nettles, and 
gently whipped my belly all over below the navel.'" It appears also 
that many ancient courtesans dedicated to Yenus as ex-votos a whip, 
a bridle, or a spur as tokens of their skill in riding their lovers. The 
whip was sometimes used in antiquity, but if it aroused sexual emo- 
tions they seem to have passed unregarded. "TTe naturally know 
nothing," Eulenburg remarks (Sadismus und Masochismus, p. 72), "of 
the feelings of the priestess of Artemis at the flagellation of Spartan 
youths; or what emotions inspired the priestess of the Syrian goddess 
under similar circumstances; or what the Roman Pontifex Maximus 
felt when he castigated the exposed body of a negligent vestal (as 
described by Plutarch) behind a curtain, and the 'plagosus Orbilius' only 
practised on children." 

It was at the Renaissance that cases of abnormal sexual pleasure 
in flagellation began to be recorded. The earliest distinct reference to 
a masochistic flagellant seems to have been made by Pico della Miran- 
dola, toward the end of the fifteenth century, in his Disputationes 
Adversus Astrologiam Divinatricem, bk. iii, ch. xxvii. Coelius Rhodi- 
ginus in 1516, again, narrated the case of a man he knew who liked to be 
severely whipped, and found this a, stimulant to coitus. Otto Brunfels, 
in his Onomasticon (1534), art. "Coitus," refers to another case of 
a man who could not have intercourse with his wife until he had been 
whipped. Then, a, century later, in 1643, Meibomius wrote De XJsu 
Flagrorum in re Venerea, the earliest treatise on this subject, narrating 
various cases. Numerous old cases of pleasure in flagellation and urtica- 
tion were brought together by Schurig in 1720 in his Spermatologia, pp. 

The earliest definitely described medical case of sadistic pleasure 
in the sight of active whipping which I have myself come across 
belongs to the year 1672, and occurs in a letter in which Kesterus seeks 
the opinion of Garmann. He knows intimately, he states, a very 
learned man — whose name, for the honor he bears him, he refrains from 
mentioning — who, whenever in a school or elsewhere he sees a boy un- 
breeehed and birched, and hears him crying out, at once emits semen 
copiously without any erection, but with great mental commotion. The 
same accident frequently happens to him during sleep, accompanied by 
dreams of whipping. Kesterus proceeds to mention that this "laudatus 
vir" was also extremely sensitive to the odor of strawberries and other 
fruits, which produced nausea. He was evidently a neurotic subject. 
(L. C. F. Garmanni et Aliorum Virorum Clarissimorum, Epistolarum 
Ccnturia, Rostochi et Lipsia?, 1714.) 

In England we find that toward the end of the sixteenth century 
one of ilarlowe's epigrams deals with a certain Francus who before 


intercourse with his mistress "sends for rods and strips himself stark 
naked," and by the middle of the seventeenth century the existence of 
an association between flagellation and sexual pleasure seems to have 
been popularly recognized. In 1661, in a vulgar "tragicomedy" entitled 
The Presbyterian Lash, we find: "I warrant he thought that the 
tickling of the wench's buttocks with the rod would provoke her to 
lechery.'' That whipping was well known as a sexual stimulant in 
England in the eighteenth century is sufficiently indicated by the fact 
that in one of Hogarth's series representing the "Harlot's Progress" a 
birch rod hangs over the bed. The prevalence of sexual flagellation in 
England at the end of that century and the beginning of the nine- 
teenth is discussed by Diihren (Iwan Bloch) in his Geschlechtsleben in 
England (1901-3), especially vol. ii, ch. vi. 

While, however, the evidence regarding sexual flagellation is rare, 
until recent times whipping as a punishment was extremely common. 
It is even possible that its very prevalence, and the consequent familiar- 
ity with which it was regarded, were unfavorable to the development of 
any mysterious emotional state likely to act on the sexual sphere, except 
in markedly neurotic subjects. Thus, the corporal chastisement of wives 
by husbands was common and permitted. Not only was this so to a 
proverbial extent in eastern Europe, but also in the extreme west and 
among a people whose women enjoyed much freedom and honor. 
Cymric law allowed a husband to chastise his wife for angry speaking, 
such as calling him a cur; for giving away property she was not 
entitled to give away; or for being found in hiding with another man. 
For the first two offenses she had the option of paying him three kine. 
When she accepted the chastisement she was to receive "three strokes 
with a rod of the length of her husband's forearm and the thickness of 
his long finger, and that wheresoever he might will, excepting on the 
head"; so that she was to suffer pain only, and not injury. (R. B. 
Holt, "Marriage Laws and Customs of the Cymri," Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute, August-November, 1898, p. 162.) 

"The Cymric law," writes a correspondent, "seems to have sur- 
vived in popular belief in the Eastern and Middle States of the United 
States. In police-courts in New York, for example, it has been unsuc- 
cessfully pleaded that a man is entitled to beat his wife with a stick 
no thicker than his thumb. In Pennsylvania actual acquittals have 
been rendered." 

Among all classes children were severely whipped by their parents 
and others in authority over them. It may be recalled that in the 
twelfth century when Abelard became tutor to Heloise, then about 
18 years of age, her uncle authorized him to beat her, if negligent 
in her studies. Even in the sixteenth century Jeanne d'Albert, who 


became the mother of Henry IV of France, at the age of 13^ was 
married to the Duke of Cleves, and to overcome her resistance to this 
union the Queen, her mother, had her whipped to such an extent that 
she thought she would die of it. The whip on this occasion was, how- 
ever, only partially successful, for the Duke never succeeded in con- 
summating the marriage, which was, in consequence, annulled. ( CabanSs 
brings together numerous facts regarding the prevalence of flagellation 
as a chastisement in ancient France in the interesting chapter on "La 
Flagellation a la Cour et a la Ville" in his Indiscretions de I'Histoire, 

As to the prevalence of whipping in England evidence is furnished 
by Andrews, in the chapter on "Whipping and Whipping Posts," in his 
book on ancient punishments. It existed from the earliest times and 
was administered for a. great variety of offenses, to men and women 
alike, for vagrancy, for theft, to the fathers and mothers of illegitimate 
children, for drunkenness, for insanity, even sometimes for small-pox. 
At one time both sexes were whipped naked, but from Queen Elizabeth's 
time only from the waist upward. In 1791 the whipping of female 
vagrants ceased by law. (W. Andrews, Bygone Punishments, 1899.) 

It must, however, be remarked that law always lags far behind 
social feeling and custom, and flagellation as a common punishment 
had fallen into disuse or become very perfunctory long before any 
change was made in the law, though it is not absolutely extinct, even 
by law, today. There is even an ignorant and retrograde tendency to 
revive it. Thus, even in severe Commonwealth days, the alleged whip- 
ping with rods of a servant-girl by her master, though with no serious 
physical injury, produced a great public outcry, as we see by the case 
of the Rev. Zachary Crofton, a distinguished London clergyman, who 
was prosecuted in 1657 on the charge of whipping his servant-girl, Mary 
Cadman, because she lay in bed late in the morning and stole sugar. 
This incident led to several pamphlets. In The Presbyterian Lash or 
yoctroff's Maid TVhipt (1661), a satire on Crofton, we read: "It is 
not only contrary to Gospel but good manners to take up a wench's 
petticoats, smock and all"; and in the doggerel ballad of "Bo-Peep," 
which was also written on the same subject, it is said that Crofton 
should have left his wife to chastise the maid. Crofton published two 
pamphlets, one under his own name and one under that of Alethes 
Xoctroff (1057), in which he elaborately dealt with the charge as both 
false and frivolous. In one passage he offers a qualified defense of 
such an act: "I cannot but bewail the exceeding rudeness of our times 
to suffer such foolery to be prosecuted as of some high and notorious 
crime. Suppose it were (as it is not) true, may not some eminent 
congregational brother be found guilty of the same act? Is it not 


much short of drinking an health naked on a signpost? May it not 
be as theologically defended as the husband's correction of his wife?" 
This passage, and the whole episode, show that feeling in regard to this 
matter was at that time in a state of transition. 

Flagellation as a penance, whether inflicted by the penitent him- 
self or by another person, was also extremely common in medieval and 
later days. According to Walsingham ("Master of the Rolls' Collec- 
tion," vol. i, p. 275), in England, in the middle of the fourteenth cen- 
tury, penitents, sometimes men of noble birth, would severely flagellate 
themselves, even to the shedding of blood, weeping or singing as they 
did so; they used cords with knots containing nails. 

At a later time the custom of religious flagellation was more 
especially preserved in Spain. The Countess d'Aulnoy, who visited 
Spain in 1685, has described the flagellations practised in public at 
Madrid. After giving an account of the dress worn by these flagellants, 
which corresponds to that worn in Spain in Holy Week at the present 
time by the members of the Cofradias, the face concealed by the high 
sugar-loaf head-covering, she continues: "They attach ribbons to their 
scourges, and usually their mistresses honor them with their favors. 
In gaining public admiration they must not gesticulate with the arm, 
but only move the wrist and hand; the blows must be given without 
haste, and the blood must not spoil the costume. They make terrible 
wounds on their shoulders, from which the blood flows in streams; 
they march through the streets with measured steps; they pass before 
the windows of their mistresses, where they flagellate themselves with 
marvelous patience. The lady gazes at this fine sight through the 
blinds of her room, and by a sign she encourages him to flog himself, 
and lets him understand how much she likes this sort of gallantry. 
When they meet a good-looking woman they strike themselves in such 
a, way that the blood goes on to her; this is a, great honor, and the 
grateful lady thanks them. All this is true to the letter." 

The Countess proceeds to describe other and more genuine peni- 
tents, often of high birth, who may be seen in the street naked above 
the waist, and with naked feet on the rough and sharp pavement; some 
had swords passed through the skin of their body rnd arms, others 
heavy crosses that weighed them down. She remarks that she was told 
by the Papal Nuncio that he had forbidden confessors to impose such 
penances, and that they were due to the devotion of the penitents 
themselves. {Relation du Voyage d'Espagne, 1692, vol. ii, pp. 158-164.) 

The practice of public self-flagellation in church during Lent 
existed in Spain and Portugal up to the early years of the nineteenth 
century. ^Descriptions of it will often be met with in old volumes of 
travel. Thus, I find a traveler through Spain in 1786 describing how, 


at Barcelona, lie was present when, in Lent, at a Miserere in the Con- 
vent Church of San Felipe Xeri on Friday evening the doors were shut, 
the lights put out, and in perfect darkness all bared their backs and 
applied the discipline, singing while they scourged themselves, ever 
louder and harsher and with ever greater vehemence until in twenty 
minutes' time the whole ended in a deep groan. It is mentioned that 
at llalaga, after such a, scene, the whole church was in the morning 
sprinkled with blood. (Joseph Townsend, A Journey through Spain 
in 1786, vol. i, p. 122; vol. iii, p. 15.) 

Even to our own day religious self-flagellation is practised by 
Spaniards in the Azores, in the darkened churches during Lent, and the 
walls are often spotted and smeared with blood at this time. (0. H. 
Howarth, "The Survival of Corporal Punishment," Journal Anthropo- 
logical Institute, Feb., 1889.) In remote districts of Spain (as near 
Haro in Eioja) there are also brotherhoods who will flagellate them- 
selves on Good Friday, but not within the church. (Dario de Regoyos, 
Espana \egra, 1899, p. 72.) 

When we glance over the history of flagellation and realize 
that, though whipping as a punishment has been very widespread 
and common, there have been periods and lands showing no clear 
knowledge of any sexual association of whipping, it becomes 
clear that whipping is not necessarily an algolagnia manifesta- 
tion. It seems evident that there must be special circumstances, 
and perhaps a congenital predisposition, to bring out definitely 
the relationship of flagellation to the sexual impulse. Thus, 
Lowenfeld considers that only about 1 per cent, of people can 
be sexually excited by flagellation of the buttocks, 1 and Naeke 
also is decidedly of opinion that there can be no sexual pleasure 
in flagellation without predisposition, which is rare. 2 On these 
grounds many are of opinion that physical chastisement, pro- 
vided it is moderate, seldom applied, and only to children who 
are quite healthy and vigorous, need not be absolutely pro- 
hibited. 3 But, however rare and abnormal a sexual response to 

i Lowenfeld, Veoer die Sexuelle Konstitution, p. 43. 

ZArchiv fiir Kriminalanthropologie, 1909, p. 361. He brings 
forward the evidence of a reliable and cultured man who at one time 
sought to obtain the pleasures of passive sexual flagellation. But in 
spite of his expectation and good will the only result was to. disperse 
every trace of sexual desire. 

s E.g., Kiefer, Zeitschrift fiir Bexualivtesenschaft, Aug., 1908. 


actual flagellation may be in adults, we shall see that the general 
sexual association of whipping in the minds of children, and 
frequently of their elders, is by no means rare and scarcely 

What is the cause of the connection between sexual emotion 
and whipping ? A very simple physical cause has been believed 
by some to account fully for the phenomena. It is known that 
strong stimulation of the gluteal region may, especially under 
predisposing conditions, produce or heighten sexual excitement, 
by virtue of the fact that both regions are supplied by branches 
of the same nerve. 

There is another reason why whipping should exert a sex- 
ual influence. As Fere especially has pointed out, in moderate 
amount it has a tonic effect, and as such has a general bene- 
ficial result in stimulating the whole body. This fact was, in- 
deed, recognized by the classic physicians, and Galen regarded 
flagellation as a tonic. 1 Thus, not only must it be said that 
whipping, when applied to the gluteal region, has a direct in- 
fluence in stimulating the sexual organs, but its general tonic 
influence must naturally extend to the sexual system. 

It is possible that we must take into account here a biological 
factor, such as we have found involved in other forms of sadism and 
masochism. In this connection a lady writes to me: "With regard to 
the theory which connects the desire for whipping with the way in 
which animals make love, where blows or pressure on the hindquarters 
are almost a necessary preliminary to pleasure, have you ever noticed 
the way in which stags behave ? Their does seem as timid as the males 
are excitable, and the blows inflicted on them by the horns of their 
mates to reduce them to submission must be, I should think, an exact 
equivalent to being beaten with a stick." 

It is remarkable that in some cases the whip would even appear 
to have a psychic influence in producing sexual excitement in animals 
accustomed to its application as a stimulant to action. Thus, Professor 
Cornevin, of Lyons, describes the case of a, Hungarian stallion, other- 
wise quite potent, in whom erection could only be produced in the 
presence of a mare in heat when a whip was cracked near him, and oc- 

l Fere, Revue de Midecine, August, 1900. In this paper Fere 
brings together many interesting facts concerning flagellation in ancient 


casionally applied gently to his legs. (Cornevin, Archives d'Anthro- 
pologie Criminelle, January, 1S96. ) 

Here, undoubtedly, we have a definite anatomical and phys- 
iological relationship which often serves as a starting-point for 
the turning of the sexual feelings in this direction, and will 
sometimes support the perversion when it has otherwise arisen. 
But this relationship, even if we regard it as a fairly frequent 
channel by which sexual emotion is aroused, will not suffice to 
account for most, or even many, of the cases in which whipping 
exerts a sexual fascination. In many, if not most, cases it is 
found that the idea of whipping asserts its sexual significance 
quite apart from any personal experience, even in persons who 
have never been whipped; 1 not seldom also in persons who have 
been whipped and who feel nothing but repugnance for the 
actual performance, attractive as it may be in imagination. 

It is evident that we have to seek the explanation of this 
phenomenon largely in psychic causes. Whipping, whether in- 
flicted or suffered, tends to arouse, vaguely but massively, the 
very fundamental and primitive emotions of anger and fear, 
which, as we have seen, have always been associated with court- 
ship, and it tends to arouse them at an age when the sexual emo- 
tions have not become clearly defined, and under circumstances 
which are likely to introduce sexual associations. From their 
earliest years children have been trained to fear whipping, 
even when not actually submitted to it, and an unjust punish- 
ment of this kind, whether inflicted on themselves or others, 
frequently arouses intense anger, nervous excitement, or terror 
in the sensitive minds of children. 2 Moreover, as has been 
pointed out to me by a lady who herself in early life was affected 
by the sexual associations of whipping, a child only sees the 
naked body of elder children when uncovered for whipping, and 

i Sehmidt-Heuert (Monatschrift fiir ffamkrankhtiten, 1906, ht. 
7) argues that it is not so much the actual use of the rod as playful, 
threatening and mysterious suggestions playing around it which nowa- 
days gives it sexual fascination. 

3 Moll (Untrrsucliunfien iiber die Libido Sexualis, Bd. i, p. 18) 
points out that these emotions frequently suffice to cause sexual emis- 
sions in schoolboys. 


its sexual charm may in part be due to this cause. We further 
have to remark that the spectacle of suffering itself is, to some 
extent and under some circumstances, a stimulant of sexual 
emotion. It is evident that a number of factors contribute to 
surround whipping at a very early age with powerful emotional 
associations, and that these associations are of such a character 
that in predisposed subjects they are very easily led into a sexual 
channel. 1 Various lines of evidence support this conclusion. 
Thus, from several reliable quarters I learn that the sight of a 
boy being caned at school may produce sexual excitement in the 
boys who look on. The association of sexual emotion with whip- 
ping is, again, very liable to show itself in schoolmasters, and 
many cases have been recorded in which the flogging of boys, 
under the stress of this impulse, has been carried to extreme 
lengths. An early and eminent example is furnished by Udall, 
the humanist, at one time headmaster of Eton, who was noted 
for his habit of inflicting frequent corporal punishment for little 
or no cause, and who confessed to sexual practices with the boys 
under his care. 2 

Sanitchenko has called attention to the case of a Eussian 
functionary, a school inspector, who every day had some fifty 
pupils flogged in his presence, as evidence of a morbid pleasure 
in such scenes. Even when no sexual element can be distinctly 
traced, scenes of whipping sometimes exert a singular fascination 
on some persons of sensitive emotional temperament. A friend, a 
clergyman, who has read many novels tells me that he has been 

1 As Eulenburg truly points out, the circumstances attending the 
whipping of a woman may be sexually attractive, even in the absence 
of any morbid impulse. Such circumstances are "the sight of naked 
feminine charms and especially — in the usual mode of flagellation — of 
those parts which possess for the sexual epicure a, peculiar esthetic at- 
traction; the idea of treating a loved, or at all events desired, person 
as a child, of having her in complete subjection and being able to dis- 
pose of her despotically; and finally the immediate results of whipping: 
the changes in skin-color, the to and fro movements which simulate 
or anticipate the initial phenomena of coitus." (Eulenburg, Sexuale 
Xeuropathie, p. 121.) 

2 See the article on Udall in the Dictionary of National 


struck by the frequency with which novelists describe such scenes 
with much luxury of detail; his list includes novels by well- 
known religious writers of both sexes. In some of these cases 
there is reason to believe that the writers felt this sexual associa- 
tion of whipping. 

It is natural that an interest in whipping should be devel- 
oped very early in childhood, and, indeed, it enters very fre- 
quently into the games of young children, and constitutes a 
much relished element of such games, more especially among 
girls. I know of many cases in which young girls between 6 
and 12 years of age took great pleasure in games in which 
the chief point consisted in unfastening each other's drawers 
and smacking each other, and some of these girls, when they 
grew older, realized that there was an element of sexual enjoy- 
ment in their games. It has indeed, it seems, always been a 
child's game, and even an amusement of older persons, to play 
at smacking each other's nates. In The Presbyter's Lash in 
1661 a young woman is represented as stating that she had done 
this as a child, and in ancient France it was a privileged custom 
on Innocents' Day (December 28th) to smack all the young 
people found lying late in bed ; it was a custom which, as Clement 
Marot bears witness, was attractive to lovers. 

If we turn to the histories I have brought together in Appendix B 
we find various references to whipping more or less clearly connected 
with the rudimentary sexual feelings of childhood. 

I am acquainted with numerous cases in which the idea of whip- 
ping, or the impulse to whip or be whipped, distinctly exists, though 
usually, when persisting to adult life, only in a rudimentary form. 
History I in the Appendix B presents a well-marked instance. I may 
quote the remarks in another case of a lady regarding her early feelings: 
"As a child the idea of being whipped excited me, but only in connec- 
tion with a person I loved, and, moreover, one who had the right to 
correct me. On one occasion I was beaten with the back of a brush, 
and the pain was sufficient to overcome any excitement; so that, ever 
after, this particular form of whipping left me unaffected, though the 
excitement still remained connected with forms of which I had no ex- 

Another lady states that when a little girl of 4 or 5 the servants 
used to smack her nates with a soft brush to amuse themselves (un- 


doubtedly, as she now believes, this gave them a kind of sexual pleas- 
ure) ; it did not hurt her, but she disliked it. Her father used to whip 
her severely on the nates at this age and onward to the age of 13, but 
this never gave her any pleasure. When, however, she was about 9 she 
began in waking dreams to imagine that she was whipping somebody, 
and would finish by imagining that she was herself being whipped. She 
would make up stories of which the climax was a whipping, and felt at 
the same time a pleasurable burning sensation in her sexual parts; she 
used to prolong the preliminaries of the story to heighten the climax; 
she felt more pleasure in the idea of being whipped than of whipping, 
although she never experienced any pleasure from an actual whipping. 
These day-dreams were most vivid when she was at school, between the 
ages of 11 and 14. They began to fade with the growth of affection for 
Teal persons. But in dreams, even in adult life, she occasionally ex- 
perienced sexual excitement accompanied by images of smacking. 

Another correspondent, this time a man, writes: "I experienced 
the connection between sexual excitement and whipping long before I 
knew what sexuality meant or had any notion regarding the functions 
of the sexual organs. What I now know to be distinct sexual feeling 
used to occur whenever the idea of whipping arose or the mention of 
whipping was made in a way to arrest my attention. I well remember 
the strange, mysterious fascination it had, even apart from any actual 
physical excitement. I have been told by many men and a few women 
that it was the same with them. Even now the feeling exists sometimes, 
especially when reading about whipping." 

The following confession, which I find recorded by a German 
manufacturer's wife, corresponds with those I have obtained in Eng- 
land: "When about 5 years old I was playing with a little girl friend 
in the park. Our governesses sat on a bench talking. For some reason — 
perhaps because we had wandered away too far and failed to hear a 
call to return — my friend aroused the anger of the governess in charge 
of her. That young lady, therefore, took her aside, raised her dress, and 
vigorously smacked her with the flat hand. I looked on fascinated, and 
possessed by an inexplicable feeling to which I naively gave myself up. 
The impression was so deep that the scene and the persons concerned 
are still clearly present to my mind, and I can even recall the little 
details of my companion's underclothing." When sexual associations 
are permanently brought into play through such an early incident 
it is possible that a special predisposition exists. (Gesellschaft und 
Geschlecht, Bd. ii, ht. 4, p. 120. ) 

It would certainly seem that we must look upon this associa- 
tion as coming well within the normal range of emotional life 


in childhood, although after puberty, when the sexual feelings 
become clearly defined, the attraction of whipping normally tends 
to be left behind as a piece of childishness, only surviving in the 
background of consciousness, if at all, to furnish a vaguely sexual 
emotional tone to the subject of whipping, but not affecting 
conduct, sometimes only emerging in erotic dreams. 

This, however, is not invariably the case in persons who 
are organically abnormal. In such cases, and especially, it 
would seem, in highly sensitive and emotional children, the 
impress left by the fact or the image of whipping may be so 
strong that it affects not only definitely, but permanently, the 
whole subsequent course of development of the sexual impulse. 
Regis has recorded a case which well illustrates the circum- 
stances and hereditary conditions under which the idea of whip- 
ping may take such firm root in the sexual emotional nature of 
a child as to persist into adult life; at the same time the case 
shows how a sexual perversion may, in an intelligent person, take 
on an intellectual character, and it also indicates a rational 
method of treatment. 

Jules P., aged 22, of good heredity on father's side, but bad on 
that of mother, who is highly hysterical, while his grandmother was 
very impulsive and sometimes pursued other women with a, knife. He 
has one brother and one sister, who are somewhat morbid and original. 
He is himself healthy, intelligent, good looking, and agreeable, though 
with slightly morbid peculiarities. At the age of 4 or 5 he suddenly 
opened a door and saw his sister, then a girl of 14 or 15, kneeling, with 
her clothes raised and her head on her governess's lap, at the moment 
of being whipped for some offense. This trivial incident left » pro- 
found impression on his mind, and he recalls every detail of it, especially 
the sight of his sister's buttocks, — round, white, and enormous as they 
seemed to his childish eyes, — and that momentary vision gave a per- 
manent direction to the whole of his sexual life. Always after that he 
desired to touch and pat his sister's gluteal regions. He shared her 
bed, and, though only a child, acquired great skill in attaining his ends 
without attracting her attention, lifting her night-gown when she slept 
and gently caressing the buttocks, also contriving to turn her over on 
to her stomach and then make a pillow of her hips. This went on 
until the age of 7, when he began to play with two little girls of the 
neighborhood, the eldest of whom was 10; he liked to take the part of 


the father and whip them. The older girl was big for her age, and he 
would separate her drawers and smack her with much voluptuous emo- 
tion ; so that he frequently sought opportunities to repeat the experience, 
to which the girl willingly lent herself, and they were constantly 
together in dark corners, the girl herself opening her drawers to enable 
him to caress her thighs and buttocks with his hand until he became 
conscious of an erection. Sometimes he would gently use a whip. On 
one occasion she asked him if he would not now like to see her in front, 
but he declined. 

One day, when 8 or 9 years old, being with a boy companion, he 
came upon a picture of a monk being flagellated, and thereupon per- 
suaded his companion to let himself be whipped; the boy enjoyed the 
experience, which was therefore often repeated. Jules P. himself, how- 
ever, never took the slightest pleasure in playing the passive part. These 
practices were continued even after the friend became a conscript, when, 
however, they became very rare. Only once or twice has he ever done 
anything of this kind to girls who were strangers to him. Nor has 
he ever masturbated or had any desire for sexual intercourse. He con- 
tents himself with the pleasure of being occasionally able to witness 
scenes of whipping in public places — parks and gardens — or of catching 
glimpses of the thighs and buttocks of young girls or, if possible, 

His principal enjoyment is in imagination. From the first he 
has loved to invent stories in which whippings were the climax, and at 
13 such stories produced the first spontaneous emission. Thus, he 
imagines, for instance, a young girl from the country who comes up to 
Paris by train ; on the way a lady is attracted by her, takes an interest 
in her, brings her home to dinner, and at last can no longer resist the 
temptation to take the girl in her arms and whip her amorously. He 
writes out these scenes and illustrates them with drawings, many of 
which Regis reproduces. He has even written comedies in which whip- 
ping plays a prominent part. He has, moreover, searched public libraries 
for references to flagellation, inserted queries in the Intermddiare des 
Chercheurs et des Curieux, and thus obtained a complete bibliography 
of flagellation which is of considerable value. Regis is acquainted with 
these Archives de la, Fessie, and states that they are carried on with 
great method and care. He is especially interested in the whipping of 
women by women. He considers that the pleasure of whippings should 
always be shared by the person whipped, and he is somewhat concerned 
to find that he has an increasing inclination to imagine an element of 
cruelty in the whipping. Emissions are somewhat frequent. Accord- 
ing to the latest information, he is much better; he has entered into 
sexual relationship with a woman who is much in love with him, and 


to whom he has confided his peculiarities. With her aid and suggestions 
he has been able to have intercourse with her, at the moment of coitus 
whipping her with a harmless India-rubber tube. (E. Regis, "Un Cas 
de Perversion Sexuelle, a forme Sadique," Archives d'Anthropologie 
Criminelles, July, 1899.) 

In a case also occurring in a highly educated man (narrated by 
>,Iarandon de Jlontyel) a doctor of laws, brilliantly intellectual and 
belonging to a, family in which there had been some insanity, when at 
school at the age of 11, saw for the first time a schoolfellow whipped on 
the nates, and experienced a new pleasure and emotion. He was never 
himself whipped at school, but would invent games with his sisters and 
playfellows in which whipping formed an essential part. At the age of 
13 he teased a young woman, a cook, until she seized him and whipped 
him. He put his arms around her and experienced his first voluptuous 
spasm of sex. The love of flagellation temporarily died out, however, 
and gave place to masturbation and later to a normal attraction to 
women. But at the age of 32 the old ideas were aroused anew by a 
story his mistress told him. He suffered from various obsessions and 
finally committed suicide. (Marandon de Montyel, "Obsessions et Vie 
Sexuelle," Archives de Xeurologie, Oct., 1904.) 

In a case that has been reported to me, somewhat similar ideas 
played a, part. The subject is a tall, well-developed man, aged 28, 
delicate in childhood, but now normal in health and physical condition, 
though not fond of athletics. His mental ability is much above the 
average, especially in scientific directions; he was brought up in narrow 
and strict religious views, but at an early age developed agnostic views 
of his own. 

From the age of 6, and perhaps earlier, he practised masturbation 
almost every night. This was a habit which he carried on in all 
innocence. It was as invariable a preliminary, he states, to going to 
sleep as was lying down, and at this period he would have felt no 
hesitation in telling all about it had the question been asked. At the 
age of 12 or 13 he recognized the habit as abnormal, and fear of ridicule 
then caused him to keep silence and to avoid observation. In carrying 
it out he would lie on his stomach with the penis directed downward, 
and not up, and the thumb resting on the region above the root of the 
penis. There was desire for micturition after the act, and when that 
was satisfied sound sleep followed. When he realized that the habit 
was abnormal he began to make efforts to discontinue it, and these 
efforts have been continued up to the present. The chief obstacle has 
been the difficulty of sleep without carrying out the practice. Emis- 
sions first began to occur at the age of 13 and at first caused some 
alarm. During the six following years indulgence was irregular, some- 


times occurring every other night and sometimes with a week's inter- 
mission. Then at the age of 19 the habit was broken for a year, during 
which nocturnal emissions took place during sleep about every three 
weeks. Since this, shorter periods of non-indulgence have occurred, 
these periods always coinciding with unusual mental or physical strain, 
as of examinations. He has some degree of attraction for women; 
this is strongest during cessation from masturbation and tends to dis- 
appear when the habit is resumed. He has never had sexual inter- 
course because he prefers his own method of gratification and feels 
great abhorrence for professional prostitutes; he could not afford to 
marry. Any indecency or immorality, except (he observes) his own 
variety, disgusts him. 

At the earliest period no mental images accompanied the act of 
masturbation. At about the age of 8, however, sexual excitement began 
to be constantly associated . with ideas of being whipped. At or soon 
after this age only the fear of disgrace prevented him from committing 
serious childish offenses likely to be punished by a good whipping. 
Parents and masters, however, seem to have used corporal punishment 
very sparingly. 

At first this desire was for whipping in general, without reference 
to the operator. Soon after the age of 10, however, he began to wish 
that certain boy friends should be the operators. At about the same 
time definite desire arose for closer contact with these friends and later 
for definite indecent acts which, however, the subject failed to specify; 
he probably meant mutual masturbation. These desires were under 
control, and the fear of ridicule seems to have been the chief restraining 
cause. At about the age of 15 he began to realize that such acts 
might be considered morally bad and wrong, and this led to reticence 
and careful concealment. Up to the age of 20 there were four definite 
attachments to persons of his own sex. There was a tendency, some- 
times, to regard women as possible whippers, and this became stronger 
at 22, the images of the two sexes then mingling in his thoughts of 
flagellation. Latterly the mental accompaniments of masturbation have 
been less personal, lapsing into the mental picture of being whipped 
by an unknown and vague somebody. When definite it has always been 
a man, and preferably of the type of a schoolmaster. His desire has 
been for punishment by whips, canes, or birches, especially upon the 
buttocks. He has always shrunk from the thought of the production 
of blood or bruises. He wishes, in mental contemplation, for a punish- 
ment sufficiently severe to make him anxious to stop it, and yet not 
able to stop it. He also takes pleasure in the idea of being tied up 
so as to be unable to move. 

He has at times indulged in self-whipping, of no great severity. 



In the preceding case we see a tendency to erotic self-flagellation 
which in a minor degree is not uncommon. Occasionally it becomes 
highly developed. Max Marcuse has presented such a case in elaborate 
detail (Zeitschrift fur die Gesamte Xeurologie, 1912, ht. 3, fully sum- 
marized in Sescual-Probleme, Xov., 1912, pp. 815-820). This is the 
ease of a Catholic priest of highly neurotic heredity, who spontaneously 
began to whip himself at the age of 12, this self-flagellation being con- 
tinued and accompanied by masturbation after the age of 15. Other 
associated perversions were Narcissism and nates fetiehism, as well as 
homosexual phantasies. He experienced a certain pleasure (with erec- 
tion, not ejaculation) in punishing his boy pupils. It is not uncom- 
mon for all forms of erotic flagellation to be associated with a homo- 
sexual element. I have elsewhere brought forward a case of this kind 
(the case of A. F., vol. ii of these Studies ) . 

Significant is Rousseau's account of the origin of his own maso- 
chistic pleasure in whipping at the age of 8 : "Mademoiselle Lam- 
bercier showed toward me a mother's affection and also a mother's 
authority, which she sometimes carried so far as to inflict on us the 
usual punishment of children when we had deserved it. For a long 
time she was content with the threat, and that threat of a chastisement 
which for me was quite new seemed very terrible; but after it had been 
executed I found the experience less terrible than the expectation had 
been; and, strangely enough, this punishment increased my affection 
for her who had inflicted it. It needed all my affection and all my 
natural gentleness to prevent me from seeking a renewal of the same 
treatment by deserving it, for I had found in the pain and even in the 
shame of it an element of sensuality which left more desire than fear 
of receiving the experience again from the same hand. It is true that, 
as in all this a precocious sexual element was doubtless mixed, the 
same chastisement if inflicted by her brother would not have seemed so 
pleasant." He goes on to say that the punishment was inflicted a 
second time, but that that time was the last, Mademoiselle Lambereier 
having apparently noted the effects it produced, and, henceforth, instead 
of sleeping in her room, he was placed in another room and treated 
by her as a big boy. "Who would have believed," he adds, "that 
this childish punishment, received at the age of 8 from the hand of a 
young woman of 30, would have determined my tastes, my desires, my 
passions, for the rest of my life?" He remarks that this strange taste 
drove him almost to madness, but maintained the purity of his morals, 
and the joys of love existed for him chiefly in imagination. (J. J. 
Rousseau, Les Confessions, partie i, livre i.) It will be seen how all 
the favoring conditions of fear, shame, and precocious sexuality were 
here present in an extremely sensitive child destined to become the 


greatest emotional force of his century, and receptive to influences 
which would have had no permanent effect on any ordinary child. 
(When, as occasionally happens, the first sexual feelings are experi- 
enced under the stimulation of whipping in normal children, no perma- 
nent perversion necessarily follows; Moll mentions that he knows such 
cases, Zeitschrift fur Padagogie, Psychiatrie, und Pathologic, 1901.) 
It may be added that it is, perhaps, not fanciful to see a certain 
inevitableness in the fact that on Rousseau's highly sensitive and re- 
ceptive temperament it was a masochistic germ that fell and fructified, 
while on Regis's subject, with his more impulsive ancestral antece- 
dents, a sadistic germ found favorable soil. 

It may be noted that in Regis's sadistic case the little girl who 
was the boy's playmate found scarcely less pleasure in the passive 
part of whipping than he found in the active. There is ample evidence 
to show that this is very often the case, and that the attractiveness of 
the idea of being whipped often even arises spontaneously in children. 
Lombroso {La, Donna Delinquente, p. 404) refers to a, girl of 7 who 
had voluptuous pleasure in being whipped, and Hammer (Monatschrift 
fiir Harnkrankheiten, 1906, p. 398) speaks of a young girl who similarly 
experienced pleasure in punishment by whipping. Krafft-Ebing records 
the case of a girl of between 6 and 8 years of age, never at that time 
having been whipped or seen anyone else whipped, who spontaneously 
acquired — how she did not know — the desire to be castigated in this 
manner. It gave her very great pleasure to imagine a woman friend 
doing this to her. She never desired to be whipped by a man, though 
there was no trace of inversion, and she never masturbated until the 
age of 24, when a marriage engagement was broken off. At the age of 
10 this longing passed away before it was ever actually realized. 
(Krafft-Ebing, Psychopothia Sexualis, eighth edition, p. 136.) 

In the ease of another young woman described- by Krafft-Ebing — 
where there was neurasthenia with other minor morbid conditions in 
the family, but the girl herself appears to have been sound — the , desire 
to be whipped existed from a, very early age. She traced it to the fact 
that when she was 5 years old a friend of her father's playfully 
placed her across his knees and pretended to whip her. Since then she 
has always longed to be caned, but to her great regret the wish has 
never been realized. She longs to be the slave of a man whom she 
loves: "Lying in fancy before him, he puts one foot on my neck while 
I kiss the other. I revel in the idea of being whipped by him and imag- 
ine different scenes in which he beats me. I take the blows as so 
many tokens of love; he is at first extremely kind and tender, but then 
in the excess of his love he beats me. I fancy that to beat me for 
love's sake gives him the highest pleasure." Sometimes she imagines 


that she is his slave, but not his female slave, for every woman may 
be her husband's slave. She is of proud and independent nature in all 
other matters, and to imagine herself a man who consents to be a slave 
gives her a more satisfying sense of humiliation. She does not under- 
stand that these manifestations are of a. sexual nature. (Krafft-Ebing, 
Psychopathia Sexualis, English translation of tenth edition, p. 189.) 

Sometimes a woman desires to take the active part in whipping. 
Thus Marandon de Montyel records the case of a girl of 19, hereditarily 
neuropathic (her father was alcoholic), but very intelligent and good- 
hearted, who had never been whipped or seen anyone whipped. At 
this age, however, she happened to visit a married friend who was 
just about to punish her boy of 9 by whipping him with a wet towel. 
The girl spectator was much interested, and though the boy screamed 
and struggled she experienced a new sensation she could not define. 
"At every stroke," she said, "a strange shiver went through all my 
body from my brain to my heels." She would like to have whipped 
him herself and felt sorry when it was over. She could not forget the 
scene and would dream of herself whipping a boy. At last the desire 
became irresistible and she persuaded a boy of 12, whom she was very 
fond of, and who was much attached to her, to let her whip him on 
the naked nates. She did this so ferociously that he at last fainted. 
She was overcome by grief and remorse. (Marandon de Montyel, 
A i chives d'Anthropologie Criminelle, Jan., 1906, p. 30.) 

Although masochism in a pronounced degree may be said to be 
rare in women, the love of active flagellation, and sadistic impulses 
generally are not uncommon among them. Bloeh believes they are 
especially common among English women. Cases occur from time to 
time of extreme harshness, cruelty, degrading punishment, and semi- 
starvation inflicted upon children. The accused are most usually 
women, and when a man and woman in conjunction are accused it ap- 
pears generally to have been the woman who played the more active 
part. But it is rarely demonstrated in these cases that the cruelty 
exercised had a definite sexual origin. There is nothing, for instance, 
to indicate true sadism in the famous English case in the eighteenth 
century of Mrs. Brownrigg (Bloch, Geschlechtslelen in England, vol. ii, 
p. 425). It may well be, however, in many of these cases that the 
real motive is sexual, although latent and unconscious. The normal 
sexual impulse in women is often obscured and disguised, and it would 
not be surprising if the perverse instinct is so likewise. 

It is noteworthy that a passion for whipping may be aroused by 
contact with a person who desires to be whipped. This is illustrated 
by the following case which has been communicated to me: "K. is a 
Jew, about 40 years of age, apparently normal. Xothing is known of 


his antecedents. He is a manufacturer with several shops. S., an 
Englishwoman, aged 25, entered his service; she is illegitimate, be- 
lieved to have been reared in a brothel kept" by her mother, is pre- 
possessing in appearance. On entering K.'s service S. was continually 
negligent and careless. This so provoked K. that on one occasion he 
struck her. She showed great pleasure and confessed that her blunder 
had been deliberately intended to arouse him to physical violence. At 
her suggestion K. ultimately consented to thrash her. This operation 
took place in K.'s office, S. stripping for the purpose, and the leather 
driving band from a sewing-machine was used. S. manifested un- 
mistakable pleasure during the flagellation, and connection occurred 
after it. These thrashings were repeated at frequent intervals, and K. 
found a growing liking for the operation on his own part. Once, at 
the suggestion of S., a girl of 13 employed by K. was thrashed by both 
K. and S. alternately. The child complained to her parents and K. 
made a money payment to them to avoid scandal, the parents agreeing 
to keep silence. Other women (Jewish tailoresses) employed by K. 
were subsequently thrashed by him. He asserts that they enjoyed the 
experience. Mrs. K., discovering her husband's infatuation for S., com- 
menced divorce proceedings. S. consented to leave the country at K.'s 
request, but returned almost immediately and was kept in hiding until 
the decree was granted. The mutual infatuation of K. and S. continues, 
though K. asserts that he cares less for her than formerly. Flagel- 
lation has, however, now become a passion with him, though he declares 
that the practice was unknown to him before he met S. His great 
fear is that he will kill S. during one of these operations. He is con- 
vinced that S. is not an isolated case, and that all women enjoy 
flagellation. He claims that the experiences of the numerous women 
whom he has now thrashed bear out this opinion; one of them is a 
wealthy woman separated from her husband, and is now infatuated 
with K." 

Flagellation, more especially in its masochistic form, is sometimes 
associated with true inversion. Moll presents the case of a young 
inverted woman of 26, showing, indeed, many other minor sexual 
anomalies, who is sexually excited when beaten with a, switch. A whip 
would not do, and the blows must only be on the nates; she cannot 
imagine being beaten by a. small woman. She has often in this way 
been beaten by a friend, who should be naked at the time, and must 
submit afterward to eunnilinctus. (Moll, Kontrare Beocualempfind- 
ung, third edition, p. 568.) 

In the preceding case there were no masochistic ideas; it is likely 
that in such a case beating is desired largely on account of that purely 
physical effect to which attention has already been called. In the same 


way self-beating with a switch or whip has sometimes been spon- 
taneously discovered as a method of self-excitement preliminary to 
masturbation. I am acquainted with a, lady of much intellectual 
ability, sexually normal, who made this discovery at the age of 18, 
and practised it for a time. Professor Eeverdin, also, speaks of the 
case of a young girl under his care who, after having exhausted all the 
resources of her intelligence, finally discovered that the climax of 
enjoyment was best reached by violently whipping her own buttocks 
and thighs. She had invented for this purpose a whip composed of 
twelve cords each of which terminated in a large chestnut-burr provided 
with its spines. (A. Reverdin, Revue Hedicale de la Suisse Romande, 
January 20, 1888, p. 17.) 


The Impulse to Strangle the Object of Sexual Desire — The Wish 
to be Strangled — Respiratory Disturbance the Essential Element in this 
Group of Phenomena — The Part Played by Respiratory Excitement in 
the Process of Courtship — Swinging and Suspension — The Attraction 
Exerted by the Idea of being Chained and Fettered. 

There is another impulse which it may be worth while 
to consider briefly here, for the salve of the light it throws on 
the relationship between love and pain. I allude to the im- 
pulse to strangle the object of sexual desire, and to the corre- 
sponding craving to be strangled. Cases have been recorded 
in which this impulse was so powerful that men have actually 
strangled women at the moment of coitus. 1 Such cases are 
rare; but, as a mere idea, the thought of strangling a woman 
appears to be not infrequently associated with sexual emotion. 
We must probably regard it as, in the main, — with whatever 
subsidiary elements, — an aspect of that physical seizure, domi- 
nation, and forcible embrace of the female which is one of the 
primitive elements of courtship. 2 

The corresponding idea — the pleasurable connection of 
the thought of being strangled with sexual emotion — appears 
to occur still more frequently, perhaps especially in women. 
Here we seem to have, as in the case of whipping, a combina- 

1 An attenuated and symbolic form of this impulse is seen in the 
desire to strangle birds with the object of stimulating or even satisfy- 
ing sexual desire. Prostitvites are sometimes acquainted with men 
who bring a live pigeon with them to be strangled just before inter- 
course. Lanphear, of St. Louis (Alienist and Seurologist, May, 1907, 
p. 204), knew a, woman, having learned masturbation in a, convent 
school, who was only excited and not satisfied by coitus with her 
husband, and had to rise from bed, catch and caress a chicken, and 
finally wring its neck, whereupon orgasm occurred. 

2 Even young girls, however, may experience pleasure in the 
playful attempt to strangle. Thus a lady speaking of herself at the 
time of puberty, when she was in the habit of masturbating, writes 
(Sexual-Probleme, Aug., 1909, p. 636) : "I acquired a, desire to seize 
people, especially girls, by the throat, and I enjoyed their way of 
screaming out." 



tion of a physical with a psychic element. Xot only is the 
idea attractive, but, as a matter of fact, strangulation, suffoca- 
tion, or any arrest of respiration, even when carried to the ex- 
tent of producing death, may actually provoke emission, as is 
observed after death by hanging. 1 It is noteworthy that, as 
Eulenburg remarks, the method of treating diseases of the spinal 
cord by suspension — a method much in vogue a few years ago — 
often produced sexual excitement. 2 In brothels, it is said, some 
of the clients desire to be suspended vertically by a cord furnished 
with pads. 3 A playful attempt to throttle her on the part of her 
lover is often felt by a woman as pleasurable, though it may not 
necessarily produce definite sexual excitement. Sometimes, how- 
ever, this feeling becomes so strong that it must be regarded as 
an actual perversion, and I have been told of a woman who is 
indifferent to the ordinary sexual embrace; her chief longing is 

i Godard observed that when animals are bled, or felled, as well 
as strangled, there is often abundant emission, rich in spermatozoa, 
but without erection, though accompanied by the same movements of 
the tail as during copulation. Robin (art. "Fecundation," Dictiormaire 
des Sciences Medicates), who quotes this observation, has the following 
remarks on this subject: ''Ejaculation occurring at the moment when 
the circulation, maintained artificially, stops is a fact of significance. 
It shows how congestive conditions — or inversely anemic conditions — 
constitute organic states sufficient to set in movement the activity of 
the nerve-centers, as is the ease for muscular contractility. 
Everything leads us to believe that at the moment when the motor 
nervous action takes place the corresponding sensitive centers also come 
into play." It must be added that Minovici, in his elaborate study of 
death by hanging ("Etude sur la Pendaison," Archives d' Anthropologic 
Ci iminelle, 1905, especially p. 701 et seq.) , concludes that the tumes- 
cence of penis and flow of spermatic fluid (sometimes 'only prostatic 
secretion) usually observed in these cases is purely passive and 
generally, though not always, of post-mortem occurrence. There is, 
therefore, no sexual pleasure in death by hanging, and persons who 
have been rescued at the last moment have experienced no voluptuous 
sensations. This was so even in the case, referred to by llinovici, of a 
man who hanged himself solely with the object of producing sexual 

- Eulenburg, Secc-uale Xeuropathie, p. 114. 

3 Bernaldo de Quiros and Llanos Aguilaniedo (La Mala Tida en 
Madrid, p. 294) knew the ease of a man who found pleasure in lying 
back on an inclined couch while a prostitute behind him pulled at a 
slipknot until he was nearly suffocated; it was the only way in which 
he could attain sexual gratification. 


to be throttled, and she will do anything to have her neck 
squeezed by her lover till her eyeballs bulge. 1 

"I think if I could be left my present feelings," a lady writes, 
"and be changed into u, male imbecile, — that is, given a man's strength, 
but deprived, to a large extent, of reasoning power, — I might very 
likely act in the apparently cruel way they do. And this partly be- 
cause many of their actions appeal to me on the passive side. The 
idea of being strangled by a person I love does. The great sensitiveness 
of one's throat and neck come in here as well as the loss of breath. 
Once when I was about to be separated from a man I cared for I put 
his hands on my throat and implored him to kill me. It was a 
moment of madness, which helps me to understand the feelings of u, 
person always insane. Even now that I am cool and collected I know 
that if I were deeply in love with a man who I thought was going to 
kill me, especially in that way, I would make no effort to save myself 
beforehand, though, of course, in the final moments nature would assert 
herself without my volition. What makes the horror of such cases in 
insanity is the fact of the love being left out. But I think ,1 find no 
greater difficulty in picturing the mental attitude of a sadistic lunatic 
than that of a normal man who gets pleasure out of women for whom 
he has no love." 

The imagined pleasure of being strangled by a lover brings 
us to a group of feelings which would seem to be not uncon- 
nected with respiratory elements. I refer to the pleasurable 
excitement experienced by some in suspension, swinging, re- 
straint, and fetters. Strangulation is the extreme and most de- 
cided type of this group of imagined or real situations, in all 
of which a respiratory disturbance seems to be an essential 
element. 2 

1 Arrest of respiration, it may be noted, may accompany strong 
sexual excitement, as it may some other emotional states; one recalls 
passages in the Arabian Nights in which we are told of ladies who at 
the sight of » very beautiful youth "felt their reason leave them, 
yearned to embrace the marvelous youth, and ceased breathing.'' 
Inhibited respiration is indeed, as Stevens shows ("Study of Atten- 
tion," American Journal of Psychology, Oct., 1905), a characteristic 
of all active attention. 

2 The exact part played by the respiration and even the circula- 
tion in constituting emotional states is still not clear, although various 
experiments have been made; see, e.g., Angell and Thompson, "A Study 
of the Relations between Certain Organic Processes and Consciousness," 
Psychological Review, January, 1899. A summary statement of the 
relations of the respiration and circulation to emotional states will be 
found in Kiilpe's Outlines of Psychology, part i, section 2, § 37. 


In explaining these phenomena we have to remark that 
respiratory excitement has always been a conspicuous part of 
the whole process of tumescence and detumescence, of the strug- 
gles of courtship and of its climax, and that any restraint upon 
respiration, or, indeed, any restraint upon muscular and emo- 
tional activity generally, tends to heighten the state of sexual 
excitement associated with such activity. 

I have elsewhere, when studying the spontaneous solitary mani- 
festation of the sexual instinct (Auto-erotism, in vol. i of these 
studies), referred to the pleasurably emotional, and sometimes sexual, 
ell eets of swinging and similar kinds of movement. It is possible that 
there is a certain significance in the frequency with which the eight- 
eenth-century French painters, who lived at a time when the refine- 
ments of sexual emotion were carefully sought out, have painted women 
in the act of swinging. Fragonard mentions that in 1763 a gentleman 
invited him into the country, with the request to paint his mistress, 
especially stipulating that she should be depicted in a swing. The same 
motive was common among the leading artists of that time. It may be 
said that this attitude was merely a pretext to secure a vision of 
ankles, but that result could easily have been attained without the aid 
of the swing. 

I may here quote, as bearing on this and allied questions, a some- 
what lengthy communication from a lady to whom I am indebted for 
many subtle and suggestive remarks on the whole of this group of 
manifestations : — 

"With regard to the connection, between swinging and suspension, 
perhaps the physical basis of it is the loss of breath. Temporary loss 
of breath with me produces excitement. Swinging at a height or a, 
fall from a height would cause loss of breath ; in a state of suspension 
the imagination would suggest the idea of falling and the attendant 
loss of breath. People suffering from lung disease are often erotically 
inclined, and anesthetics affect the breathing. Men also seem to like 
the idea of suspension, but from the active side. One man used to 
put his wife on a high swinging shelf when she displeased him, and 
my husband told me once he would like to suspend me to a crane we 
were watching at work, though I have never mentioned my own feeling 
on this point to him. Suspension is often mentioned in descriptions of 
torture. Beatrice Cenci was hung up by her hair and the recently mur- 
dered Queen of Korea was similarly treated. In Tolstoi's My Eusland 
and I the girl says she would like her husband to hold her over a preci- 
pice. That passage gave me great pleasure. 1 

l The words alluded to by my correspondent are as follows • "I 
needed a struggle; what I needed was that feeling should guide life, and 


"The idea of slipping off an inclined plane gives me the same sen- 
sation. I always feel it on seeing Michael Angelo's 'Night,' though the 
slipping look displeases me artistically. I remember that when I saw 
the 'Night' first I did feel excited and was annoyed, and it seemed to 
me it was the slipping-off look that gave it; but I think I am now less 
affected by that idea. Certain general ideas seem to excite one, but the 
particular forms under which they are presented lose their effect and 
have to be varied. The sentence mentioned in Tolstoi leaves me now 
quite cold, but if I came across the same idea elsewhere, expressed dif- 
ferently, then it would excite me. I am very capricious in the small 
things, and I think women are so more than men. The idea of slipping 
down a plank formerly produced excitement with me; now it has a less 
vivid effect, though the idea of loss of breath still produces excitement. 
The idea of the plank does not now affect me unless there is a certain 
amount of drapery. I think, therefore, that the feeling must come in 
part from the possibility of the drapery catching on some roughness of 
the surface of the slope, and so producing pressure on the sexual organs. 
The effect is still produced, however, even without any clothing, if the 
slope is supposed to end in a deep drop, so that the idea of falling is 
.strongly presented. I cannot recollect any early associations that would 
tend to explain these feelings, except that jumping from a height, which 
I used frequently to do as a child, has a tendency to create excitement. 

"With me, I may add, it is when I cannot express myself, or am 
trying to understand what I feel is beyond my grasp, that the first stage 
oi sexual excitement results. For instance, I never get excited in 
thinking over sexual questions, because my ideas, correct or incorrect, 
are fairly clear and definite. But I often feel sexually excited over that 
question of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, not because I 
can't decide between the two sets of evidence, but because I don't feel 
■confident of having fully grasped the true significance of either. This 
feeling of want of power, mental or physical, always has the same 
effect. I feel it if my eyes are blindfolded or my hands tied. I don't 
like to see the Washington Post dance, in which the man stands 
behind the woman and holds her hands, on that account. If he held 
her wrists the feeling would be stronger, as her apparent helplessness 
would be increased. The nervous irritability that is caused by being 

not that life should guide feeling. I wanted to go with him to the edge 
of an abyss and say: 'Here a step and I will throw myself over; and 
here a motion and I have gone to destruction'; and for him, turning 
pale, to seize me in his strong arms, hold me back over it till my heart 
grew cold within me, and then carry me away wherever he pleased." 
The whole of the passage in which these lines occur is of considerable 
psychological interest. In one English translation the story is entitled 
Family Ha-ppiness. 


under restraint seems to manifest itself in that way, while in the 
case of mental disability the excitement, which should flow down a 
mental channel, being checked, seems to take a physical course instead. 
"Possibly this would help to explain masochistic sexual feelings. 
A physical cause working in the present would be preferable as an ex- 
planation to a psychological cause to be traced back through heredity 
to primitive conditions. I believe such feelings are very common in 
men as well as in women, only people do not care to admit them, as a, 

The idea of being chained and fettered appears to be not 
uncommonly associated with pleasurable sexual feelings, for I 
have met with numerous cases in both men and women, and 
it not infrequently coexists with a tendency to inversion. It 
often arises at a very early age, and it is of considerable in- 
terest because we cannot aecount for its frequency by any chance 
association nor by any actual experiences. It would appear to be 
a purely psychic fantasia founded on the elementary physical 
fact that restraint of emotion, like suspension, produces a 
heightening of emotion. In any case the spontaneous character 
of such ideas and emotions in children of both sexes suffices to 
show that they must possess a very definite organic basis. 

In one of the histories ( X ) contained in Appendix B at the end of 
the present volume a lady describes how, as a. child, she reveled in the 
idea of being chained and tortured, these ideas appearing to rise spon- 
taneously. In another case, that of A. X. (for the most part repro- 
duced in "Erotic Symbolism," in vol. v of these Studies), whose ideals 
are inverted and who is also affected by boot-fetichism, the idea of 
fetters is very attractive. In this case self-excitement was pro- 
duced at a very early age, without the use of the hands, by strapping 
the legs together. We can, however, scarcely explain away the idea 
of fetters in this case as merely the result of an early association, for 
it may well be argued that the idea led to this method of self-excite- 
ment. "The mere idea of fetters," this subject writes, "produces the 
greatest excitement, and the sight of pictures representing such things 
is a temptation. The reading of books dealing with prison life, etc., 
anywhere where physical restraint is treated of, is a temptation. The 
temptation is aggravated when the picture represents the person booted. 
I suppose all this will have been intensified in my case by my practices 
as a child. But why should a child of 6 do such things unless it were 
a natural instinct in him? Xobody showed me; I have never mentioned 


such things to anyone. I used to read historical romances for the 
pleasure of reading of people being put in prison, in fetters, and tor- 
tured, and always envied them. I feel now that I should like to 
undergo the sensation. If I could get anyone to humor me without 
losing their self-respect, I should jump at the opportunity. I have 
been most powerfully excited by visiting an old Australian convict-ship, 
where all the means of restraint are shown; I have been attracted to it 
night after night, wanting, but not daring to ask, to be allowed to 
have a practical experience." 

Stcherbak, of Warsaw, has recorded a, case which resembles that 
of A. N., but there was no inversion and the attraction of fetters was 
active rather than passive; the subject desired to fetter and not to be 
fettered. It is possible that this difference is not fundamental, though 
Stcherbak regards the case as one of fetichism of sadistic origin 
("Contribution a 1'Etude des Perversions Sexuelles," Archives de Neu- 
rologie, Oct., 1907 ) . The subject was a highly intelligent though neu- 
rasthenic youth, who from the age of 5 had been deeply interested in 
criminals who were fettered and sent to prison. The fate of Siberian 
prisoners was a frequent source of prolonged meditations. It was the 
fettering which alone interested him, and he spent much time in trying 
to imagine the feelings of the fettered prisoners, and he often imagined 
that he was himself a prisoner in fetters. (This seems to indicate that 
the impulse was in its origin masochistic as much as sadistic, and 
better described as algolagnia then as sadism.) He delighted in stories 
and pictures of fettered persons. At the age of 15 the sex of the 
fettered person became important and he was interested chiefly in 
fettered women. A new element also appeared; he was attracted to 
well-dressed women and especially to those wearing elegant shoes, 
delighting to imagine them fettered. He fastened his own feet together 
with chains, attempting to walk about his room in this condition, but 
experienced comparatively little pleasure in this way. At the age of 
15 he met a lady 10 years older than himself and of great intelligence. 
As he began to know her more intimately she allowed him to take 
liberties with her; he fastened her hands behind her back, and this 
caused him a, violent but delicious emotion which he had never experi- 
enced before. Next time he fastened her feet together as well as her 
hands; as he did so her shoes slightly touched his sexual organs; 
this caused erection and ejaculation, accompanied by the most acute 
sexual pleasure he had ever felt. He had no wish to see her naked 
or to uncover himself, and as long as this relationship lasted he had 
no abnormal thoughts at other times, or in connection with other 
people. He never masturbated, and his sexual dreams were of fettered 
men or women. Stcherbak discusses the ease at length and considers 


that it is essentially an example of sadism, on the ground that the 
impulse of fettering was prompted by the desire to humiliate. There 
is, however, no evidence of any such desire, and, as a matter of fact, 
no humiliation was effected. The primary and fundamental element 
in this and similar eases is an almost abstract sexual fascination in. 
the idea of restraint, whether endured, inflicted, or merely witnessed 
or imagined; the feet become the chief focus of this fascination, and the 
basis on which a foot-fetichism or shoe-fetichism tends to arise, because 
restraint of the feet produces a more marked effect than restraint of the 

Pain, and Not Cruelty, the Essential Element in Sadism and Maso- 
chism — Pain Felt as Pleasure — Does the Sadist Identify Himself with 
the Feelings of his Victim? — The Sadist often a JIasochist in Disguise 
— The Spectacle of Pain or Struggle as a Sexual Stimulant. 

In the foregoing rapid survey of the great group of mani- 
festations in which the sexual emotions come into intimate 
relationship with pain, it has become fairly clear that the ordi- 
nary division between "sadism" and "masochism," convenient 
as these terms may be, has a very slight correspondence with 
facts. Sadism and masochism may be regarded as comple- 
mentary emotional states; they cannot be regarded as opposed 
states. 1 Even De Sade himself, we have seen, can scarcely be 
regarded as a pure sadist. A passage in one of his works ex- 
pressing regret that sadistic feeling is rare among women, as 
well as his definite recognition of the fact that the suffering of 
pain may call forth voluptuous emotions, shows that he was not 
insensitive to the charm of masochistic experience, and it is 
evident that a merely blood-thirsty vampire, sane or insane, 
could never have retained, as De Sade retained, the undying 
devotion of two women so superior in heart and intelligence as 
his wife and sister-in-law. Had De Sade possessed any wanton 
love of cruelty, it would have appeared during the days of the 
Eevolution, when it was safer for a man to simulate blood- 
thirstiness, even if he did not feel it, than to show humanity. 
But De Sade distinguished himself at that time not merely by 
his general philanthropic activities, but by saving from the 
scaffold, at great risk to himself, those who had injured him. 
It is clear that, apart from the organically morbid twist by which 
he obtained sexual satisfaction in his partner's pain, — a craving 

l This opinion appears to be in harmony with the conclusions of 
Eulenburg, who has devoted special study to De Sade, and points out 
that the ordinary conception of "sadism" is much too narrow. (Eulen- 
burg, Sexuale >' ' ewropathie, 1895, p. 110 et seq.) 



which was, for the most part, only gratified in imaginary visions 
developed to an inhuman extent under the influence of solitude, 
— De Sade was simply, to those who knew him, "un aimable 
mauvais sujei" gifted with exceptional intellectual powers. Un- 
less we realize this we run the risk of confounding De Sade and 
his like with men of whom Judge Jeffreys was the sinister type. 
It is necessary to emphasize this point because there can be 
no doubt that De Sade is really a typical instance of the group 
of perversions he represents, and when we understand that it is 
pain only, and not cruelty, that is the essential in this group of 
manifestations we begin to come nearer to their explanation. 
The masochist desires to experience pain, but he generally de- 
sires that it should be inflicted in love ; the sadist desires to inflict 
pain, but in some cases, if not in most, he desires that it should 
be felt as love. How far De Sade consciously desired that the 
pain he sought to inflict should be felt as pleasure it may not now 
be possible to discover, except by indirect inference, but the con- 
fessions of sadists show that such a desire is quite commonly 

I am indebted to a lady for the following communication on the 
foregoing aspect of this question: "I believe that, when a person 
takes pleasure in inflicting pain, he or she imagines himself or herself 
in the victim's place. This would account for the transmutability of 
the two sets of feelings. This might be particularly so in the case of 
men. A man may not care to lower his dignity and vanity by putting 
himself in subjection to a woman, and he might fear she would feel 
contempt for him. By subduing her and subjecting her to passive 
restraint he would preserve, even enhance, his own power and dignity, 
while at the same time obtaining a reflected pleasure from what he 
imagined she was feeling. 

"I think that when I get pleasure out of the idea of subduing 
another it is this reflected pleasure I get. And if this is so one could 
thus feel more kindly to persons guilty of cruelty, which has hitherto 
always seemed the one unpardonable sin. Even criminals, if it is true 
that they are themselves often very insensitive, may, in the excitement 
of the moment, imagine that they are only inflicting trifling pain, as it 
would be to them, and that their victim's feelings are really pleasurable. 
The men I have known most given to inflicting pain are all particularly 
tender-hearted when their passions are not in question. I cannot under- 


stand how (as in a case mentioned by Krafft-Ebing) a man could find 
any pleasure in binding » girl's hands except by imagining what he 
supposed were her feelings, though he would probably be unconscious 
that he put himself in her place. 

"As a, child I exercised a good deal of authority and influence 
over my youngest sister. It used to give me considerable pleasure to 
be somewhat arbitrary and severe with her, but, though I never ad- 
mitted it to myself or to her, I knew instinctively that she took 
pleasure in my treatment. I used to give her childish lessons, over 
which I was very strict. I invented catechisms and chapters of the 
Bible in which elder sisters were exhorted to keep their juniors under 
discipline, and younger sisters were commanded to give implicit sub- 
mission and obedience. Some parts of the Imitation lent themselves to 
this sort of parody, which never struck me as in any way irreverent. 
I used to give her arbitrary orders to 'exercise her in obedience,' as I 
told her, and I used to punish her if she disobeyed me. In all this I 
was, though only half consciously, guided through my own feelings as 
to what I should have liked in her place. For instance, I would make 
her put down her playthings and come and repeat a lesson; but, though 
she was in appearance having her will subdued to mine, I always chose 
a moment when I foresaw she would soon be tired of play^ There was 
sufficient resistance to make restraint pleasurable, not enough to render 
it irksome. In my punishments I acted on a similar principle. I used 
to tie her hands behind her (like the man in Krafft-Ebing's case), but 
only for a few moments; I once shut her in a sort of cupboard-room, 
also for a very short time. On two or three occasions I completely 
undressed her, made her lie down on the bed, tied her hands and feet 
to the bedstead, and gave her a slight whipping. I did not wish to 
hurt her, only to inflict just enough, pain to produce the desire to 
move or resist. My pleasure, a very keen one, came from the imagined 
excitement produced by the thwarting of this desire. (Are not your 
own words — that 'emotion' is 'motion in a, more or less arrested form' — 
an epigrammatic summary of all this, though in a somewhat different 
connection?) I did not undress her from any connection of nakedness 
with sexual feeling, but simply to enhance her feeling of helplessness 
and defenselessness under my hands. If I were a man and the woman 
I loved were refractory I should undress her before finding fault with 
her. A woman's dress symbolizes to her the protection civilization 
affords to the weak and gives her a fictitious strength. Naked, she is 
face to face with primitive conditions, her weakness opposed to the 
man's power. Besides, the sense of shame at being naked under the 
eyes of a man who regarded her with displeasure would extend itself 
to her offense and give him a distinct, though perhaps unfair, ad- 



vantage. I used the bristle side of a brush to chastise her with, as 
suggesting the greatest amount of severity with the least possible pain. 
In fact, my idea was to produce the maximum of emotion with the 
minimum of actual discomfort. 

"You must not, however, suppose that at the time I reasoned 
about it at all in this way. I was very fond of her, and honestly be- 
lieved I was doing it for her good. Had I realized then, as I do now, 
that my sole aim and object was physical pleasure, I believe my pleas- 
ure would have ceased; in any case I should not have felt justified in 
so treating her. Do I at all persuade you that my pleasure was a re- 
flection of hers ? That it was, I think, is clear from the iact that I only 
obtained it when she was willing to submit. Any real resistance or 
signs that I was overpassing the boundary of pleasure in her and 
urging on pain without excitement caused me to desist and my own 
pleasure to cease. 

"I disclaim all altruism in my dealings with my sister. What 
occurs appears to me to be this : A situation appeals to one in imagina- 
tion and one at once desires to transfer it to the realms of fact, being 
one's self one of the principal actors. If it is the passive side which ap- 
peals to one, one would prefer to be passive; but if that is not ob- 
tainable then one takes the active part as next best. In either case, 
however, it is the realization of the imagined situation that gives the 
pleasure, not the other person's pleasure as such, although his or her sup- 
posed pleasure creates the situation. If I were a man it would afford 
me great delight to hold a woman over a, precipice, even if she disliked 
it. The idea appeals to me so strongly that I could not help imagining 
her pleasure, though I might know, she got none, and even though she 
made every demonstration of fear and dislike of it. The situation so 
often imagined would have become a fact. It seems to me I have to 
say a thing is and is not in the same breath, but the confusion is only 
in the words. 

"Let me give you another example: I have a tame pigeon which 
has a great affection for me. It sits on my shoulder and squats down 
with its wings out as birds do when courting, peeking me to make me 
take notice of it, and flickering its wings. I like to hold it so that it 
can't move its wings, because I imagine this increases its excitement. 
If it struggles, or seems to dislike my holding it, I let it go. 

"In an early engagement (afterward broken off) my fiance used 
to take an evident pleasure in telling me how he would punish me if I 
disobeyed him when we were married. Though we had but little in 
common mentally, I was frequently struck with the similarity between 
his ideas and what my own had been in regard to my sister. He used 
his authority over me most capriciously. On one occasion he would 


not let me have any supper at a dance. On another he objected to my 
drinking black coffee. No day passed without a command or prohibi- 
tion on some trifling point. Whenever he saw, though, that I really 
disliked the interference or made any decided resistance, which happened 
very seldom, he let me have my own way at once. I cannot but think, 
when I recall the various circumstances, that he got a certain pleasure, 
as I had done with my sister, by an almost unconscious transference of 
my feelings to himself. 

"I find, too, that, when I want a man to say or do to me what 
would cause me pleasure and he does not gratify me, I feel an intense 
longing to change places, to be the man and make him, as the woman, 
feel what I want to feel. Combined with this is a sense of irritation at 
not being gratified and a desire to punish him for my deprivation, for 
his stupidity in not saying or doing the right thing. I don't feel any 
anger at a, man not caring for me, but only for not divining my feelings 
when he does care. 

"Now let me take another case: that of the man who used to 
experience pleasure when surprising » woman making water. (Cf. 
Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle, Nov. 15, 1900.) Here the woman's 
embarrassment appears to be a factor ; but it seems to me there must 
be more than this, as confusion might be produced in so many other 
ways, as if she were found bathing, or undressed, though it might not 
be so acute. In reality, I fancy she would be checked in what she was 
doing, and that the man, perhaps unconsciously, imagined this cheek 
and a resulting excitement. That such a check does sometimes produce 
excitement I know from experience in traveling. If the bladder is not 
emptied before connection the pleasure is often more intense. Long 
before I understood these things at all I was struck by this quotation: 
'Cette volupte que ressentent les bords de la mer, d'etre toujours pleins 
sans jamais deborder V What would be the effect on a man of a sudden 
check at the supreme moment of sexual pleasure ? In reality, I suppose, 
pain, as the nerves would be at their full tension and unable to 
respond to any further stimulus; but, in imagination, one's nerves are 
not at their highest tension, and one imagines an increase or, at any 
rate, a prolongation of the pleasurable sensations. Something of all 
this, some vague reflection of the woman's possible sensations, seems to 
enter in the man's feelings in surprising the woman. In any case his 
pleasure in her confusion seems to me a reflection of her feelings, for 
the sense of shame and embarrassment before a. man is very exciting, 
and doubly so if one realizes that the man enjoys it. Ouida speaks of 
the 'delicious shame' experienced by 'Folle Farine.' 

"It seems to me that whenever we are affected by another's emo- 
tion we do practically, though unconsciously, put ourselves in his 


place; but we are not always able to gauge accurately its intensity 
or to allow for differences between ourselves and another, and, in the 
ease of pain, it is doubly difficult, as we can never recall the pain itself, 
but only the mental effects upon us of the pain. We cannot even recall 
the feeling of heat when we are cold, or vice versa, with any degree of 

"A woman tells me of a man who frequently asks her if she would 
not like him to whip her. He is greatly disappointed when she says she 
gets no pleasure from it, as it would give him so much to do it. He 
cannot believe she experiences none, because he would enjoy being 
whipped so keenly if he were a, girl. In another case the man thinks 
the woman must enjoy suffering, because he would get intense pleasure 
from inflicting it ! Why is this, unless he would like it if a. woman, 
and confuses in his mind the two personalities? All the men I know 
who are sadistically inclined admit that if they were women they 
would like to be harshly treated. 

"Of course, I quite see there may be many complications; a man's 
natural anger at resistance may come in, and also simple, not sexual, 
pleasure in acts of crushing, etc. I always feel inclined to crush any- 
thing very soft or a person with very pretty thick hair, to rub to- 
gether two shining surfaces, two bits of satin, etc.. apart from any 
feelings of excitement, ily explanation only refers to that part of 
sadism which is sexual enjoyment of another's pain." 

That the foregoing view holds good as regards the traces of sadism 
found within the normal limits of sexual emotion has alreadv been 
stated. We may also believe that it is true in many genuinely perverse 
cases. In this connection reference may be made to an interesting case, 
reported by Moll, of a married lady 23 years of age, with pronounced 
sadistic feelings. She belongs to a normal family and is herself appar- 
ently quite healthy, a tall and strongly built person, of feminine aspect, 
fond of music and dancing, of more than average intelligence. Her 
perverse inclinations commenced obscurely about the age of 14, when 
she began to be dominated by the thought of the pleasure it would 
be to strike and torture a man, but were not clearly defined until the 
age of IS, while at an early age she was fond of teasing and contra- 
dicting men, though she never experienced the same impulse toward 
women. She has never, except in a very slight degree, actually car- 
ried her ideas into practice, either with her husband or anyone else, 
being restrained, she says, by a feeling of shame. Coitus, though fre- 
quently practised, gives her no pleasure, seems, indeed, somewhat dis- 
gusting to her, and has never produced orgasm. Her own ideas, also, 
though very pleasurable to her, have not produced definite sexual excite- 
ment, except on two or three occasions, when they had been combined 


with the influence of alcohol. She frankly regrets that modern social 
relationship makes it impossible for her to find sexual satisfaction in 
the only way in which such satisfaction would be possible to her. 

Her chief delight would be to torture the man she was attached 
to in every possible way; to inflict physical pain and mental pain would 
give her equal pleasure. "I would bite him till the blood came, as I 
have often done to my husband. At that moment all sympathy for 
him would disappear." She frequently identifies her imaginary lover 
with a real man to whom she feels that she could be much more at- 
tracted than she is to her husband. She imagines to herself that she 
makes appointments with this lover, and that she reaches the rendezvous 
in her carriage, but only after her lover has been waiting for her a 
very long time in the cold. Then he must feel all her power, he must 
be her slave with no will of his own, and she would- torture him with 
various implements as seemed good to her. She would use a rod, a 
riding-whip, bind him and chain him, and so on. But it is to be noted 
that she declares "this could, in general, only give me enjoyment if the 
man concerned endured such torture with a. certain pleasure. He must, 
indeed, writhe with pain, but at the same time be in a, state of sexual 
ecstasy, followed by satisfaction." His pleasure must not, however, be 
so great that it overwhelms his pain; if it did, her own pleasure would 
vanish, and she has found with her husband that when in kissing him 
her bites have given him much pleasure she has at once refrained. 

It is further noteworthy that only the pain she herself had in- 
flicted would give her pleasure. If the lover suffered pain from an ac- 
cident or a wound she is convinced that she would be full of sympathy 
for him. Outside her special sexual perversion she is sympathetic and 
very generous. (Moll, Komtrare Sexualempfindung, 1899, pp. 507-510.) 

This case is interesting as an uncomplicated example of almost 
purely ideal sadism. It is interesting to note the feelings of the sadist 
subject toward her imaginary lover's feelings. It is probably significant 
that, while his pleasure is regarded as essential, his pain is regarded 
as even more essential, and the resulting apparent confusion may well 
be of the very essence of the whole phenomenon. The pleasure of the 
imaginary lover must be secured or the manifestation passes out of the 
sexual sphere; but his pleasure must, at all costs, be conciliated with 
his pain, for in the sadist's eyes the victim's pain has become » vica- 
rious form of sexual emotion. That, at the same time, the sadist desires 
to give pleasure rather than pain finds confirmation in the fact that 
he often insists on pleasure being feigned even though it is not felt. 
Some years ago a rich Jewish merchant became notorious for torturing 
girls with whom he had intercourse; his performances acquired for 
him the title of "I'homme qui pique," and led to his prosecution. It 


was his custom to spend some hours in sticking pins into various parts 
of the girl's tody, but it was essential that she should wear a smiling 
face throughout the proceedings. (Hamon, La France Sociale et Poli- 
tique, 1891, p. 445 et seq.) 

We have thus to recognize that sadism by no means in- 
volves any love of inflicting pain outside the sphere of sexual 
emotion, and is even compatible with a high degree of gen- 
eral tender-heartedness. We have also to recognize that even 
within the sexual sphere the sadist by no means wishes to 
exclude the victim's pleasure, and may even regard that pleas- 
ure as essential to his own satisfaction. We have, further, to 
recognize that, in view of the close connection between sadism 
and masochism, it is highly probable that in some cases the 
sadist is really a disguised masochist and enjoys his victim's 
pain because he identifies himself with that pain. 

But there is a further group of cases, and a very impor- 
tant group, on account of the light it throws on the essential 
nature of these phenomena, and that is the group in which 
the thought or the spectacle of pain acts as a sexual stimulant, 
without the subject identifying himself clearly either with the 
inflicter or the sufferer of the pain. Such cases are sometimes 
classed as sadistic; but this is incorrect, for they might just 
as truly be called masochistic. The term algolagnia might 
properly be applied to them (and Eulenburg now classes them 
as "ideal algolagnia"), for they reveal an undifferentiated con- 
nection between sexual excitement and pain not developed into 
either active or passive participation. Such feelings may arise 
sporadically in persons in whom no sadistic or masochistic per- 
version can be said to exist, though they usually appear in indi- 
viduals of neurotic temperament. Casanova describes an instance 
of this association which came immediately under his own eyes 
at the torture and execution of Damiens in 1757. 1 W. G. Stearns 

l Casanova, Mfmoires, vol. viii, pp. 74-76. G-oncourt in his 
Journal, under date of April, 1862 (vol. ii, p. 27), tells a story of an 
Englishman who engaged a room overlooking a scaffold where a 
murderer was to be hanged, proposing to take a woman with him and 
to avail himself of the excitement aroused by the scene. This scheme 
was frustrated by the remission of the death penalty. 


knew a man (having masturbated and had intercourse to excess) 
who desired to see Ms wife delivered of a child, and .finally be- 
came impotent without this idea. He witnessed many deliveries 
and especially obtained voluptuous gratification at the delivery 
of a primipara when the suffering was greatest. 1 A very trifling 
episode may, however, suffice. In one case known to me a man, 
ueither sadistic nor masochistic in his tendencies, when sitting 
looking out of his window saw a spider come out of its hole to 
capture and infold a fly which had just been caught in its web ; 
as he watched the process he became conscious of a powerful 
erection, an occurrence which had never taken place under such 
circumstances before. 2 Under favoring conditions some inci- 
dent of this kind at an early age may exert a decisive influence 
on the sexual life. Tambroni, of Ferrara, records the case of a 
boy of 11 who first felt voluptuous emotions on seeing in an 
illustrated journal the picture of a man trampling on his 
daughter; ever afterward he was obliged to evoke this image 
in masturbation or coitus. 3 An instructive- case has been re- 
corded by Fere. In this case a lady of neurotic heredity on 
one side, and herself liable to hysteria, experienced her first 
sexual crisis at the age of 13, not long after menstruation had 
become established, and when she had just recovered from an 
attack of chorea. Her old nurse, who had remained in the 
service of the family, had a ne'er-do-well son who had disap- 
peared for some years and had just now suddenly returned and 
thrown himself, crying and sobbing, at the knees of his mother, 
who thrust him away. The young girl accidentally witnessed 
this scene. The cries and the sobs provoked in her a sexual 
excitement she had never experienced before. She rushed away 
in surprise to the next room, where, however, she could still 

1 Alienist and Neurologist, May, 1907, p. 204. 

2 This spectacle of the spider and the fly seems indeed to bo 
specially apt to exert a. sexual influence. I have heard of a precisely 
similar case in a man of intellectual distinction, and another in a lady 
who acknowledged to a feeling of "exquisite pleasure," on one occasion, 
at the mere sound of the death agony of a fly in a spider's web. 

3 Quoted by Obici and Marehesini, he Amieizie di Gollegio, p. 245. 


hear the sobs, and soon she was overcome by a sexual orgasm. 
She was much troubled at this occurrence, and at the attraction 
which she now experienced for a man she had never seen 
before and whom she had always looked upon as a worthless 
vagabond. Shortly afterward she had an erotic dream con- 
cerning a man who sobbed at her knees. Later she again 
saw the nurse's son, but was agreeably surprised to find that, 
though a good-looking youth, he no longer caused her any 
emotion, and he disappeared from her mind, though the erotic 
dreams concerning an unknown sobbing man still occurred 
rather frequently. During the next ten years she suffered 
from various disorders of more or less hysterical character, 
and, although not disinclined to the idea of marriage, she re- 
fused all offers, for no man attracted her. At the age of 23, 
when staying in the Pyrenees, she made an excursion into 
Spain, and was present at a bull-fight. She was greatly excited 
by the charges of the bull, especially when the charge was 
suddenly arrested. 1 She felt no interest in any of the men 
who took part in the performance or were present; no man 
was occupying her imagination. But she experienced sexual 
sensations and accompanying general exhilaration, which were 
highly agreeable. After one bull had charged successively 
several times the orgasm took place. She considered the whole 
performance barbarous, but could not resist the desire to be 
present at subsequent bull-fights, a desire several times grati- 
fied, always with the same results, which were often afterward 

i It may be noted that we have already several times encountered 
this increase of excitement produced by arrest of movement. The effect 
is produced whether the arrest is witnessed or is actually experienced. 
''A man can increase a woman's excitement," a lady writes, "by for- 
bidding her to respond in any way to his caresses. It is impossible to 
remain quite passive for more than a few seconds, but, during these 
few, excitement is considerably augmented." In a similar way I have 
been told of a man of brilliant intellectual ability who very seldom 
has connection with a woman without getting her to compress with her 
hand the base of the urethral canal to such an extent as to impede the 
passage of the semen. On withdrawal of the hand copious emission 
occurs, but it is the shock of the arrest caused bv the constriction 
which gives him supreme pleasure. He has practised this method for 
years without evil results. 


repeated in dreams. From that time she began to take an 
interest in horse-races, which she now found produced the same 
effect, though not to the same degree, especially when there 
was a fall. She subsequently married, but never experienced 
sexual satisfaction except under these abnormal circumstances 
or in dreams. 1 

As the foregoing case indicates, horses, and especially 
running or struggling horses, sometimes have the same effect 
in stimulating the sexual emotions, especially on persons pre- 
disposed by neurotic heredity, as we have found that the spec- 
tacle of pain possesses. A medical correspondent in New 
Zealand tells me of a patient of his own, a young carpenter 
of 26, not in good health, who had never masturbated or had 
connection with a woman. He lived in a room overlooking 
a livery-stable yard where was kept, among other animals, a 
large black horse. Nearly every night he had a dream in which 
he seemed to be pursuing this large black horse, and when he 
caught it, which he invariably did, there was a copious emis- 
sion. A holiday in the country and tonic treatment dispelled 
the dreams and reduced the nocturnal emissions to normal 
frequency. Fere has recorded a case of a boy, of neuropathic 
heredity, who, when 14 years of age, was one day about to 
practise mutual masturbation with another boy of his own 
age. They were seated on a hillside overlooking a steep road, 
and at this moment a heavy wagon came up the road drawn 
by four horses, which struggled painfully up, encouraged by 
the cries and the whip of the driver. This sight increased the 
boy's sexual excitement, which reached its climax when one 
of the horses suddenly fell. He had never before experienced 
such intense excitement, and always afterward a similar spec- 
tacle of struggling horses produced a similar effect. 2 

In this connection reference may be made to the fre- 
quency with which dreams of struggling horses occur in con- 

1 Fgre, "Le Sadisme aux Courses de Taureaux," Revue de midedne, 
August, 1900. 

2 F6rg, L'Instinct sexuel, p. 255. 


neetion with disturbance or disease of the heart. In such 
cases it is clear that the struggling horses seem to dream- 
consciousness to embody and explain the panting struggles to 
which the heart is subjected. They become, as it were, a 
visual symbol of the cardiac oppression. In much the same 
way, it would appear, under the influence of sexual excitement, 
in which cardiac disturbance is one of the chief constituent 
elements, the struggling horses became a sexual symbol, and, 
having attained that position, they are henceforth alone ade- 
quate to produce sexual excitement. 


Why is Pain a Sexual Stimulant? — It is the Most Effective 
Method of Arousing Emotion — Anger and Fear the Most Powerful Emo- 
tions — Their Biological Significance in Courtship — Their General and 
Special Effects in Stimulating the Organism — Grief as a Sexual Stimu- 
lant — The Physiological Mechanism of Fatigue Renders Pain Pleasur- 

We have seen that the distinction between "sadism" and 
"masochism" cannot be maintained ; not only was even De Sade 
himself something of a masochist and Sacher-Masoeh some- 
thing of a sadist, but between these two extreme groups of 
phenomena there is a central group in which the algolagnia 
is neither active nor passive. "Sadism" and "masochism" are 
simply convenient clinical terms for classes of manifestations 
which quite commonly occur in the same person. We have 
further found that — as might have been anticipated in view 
of the foregoing result — it is scarcely correct to use the word 
"cruelty" in connection with the phenomena we have been 
considering. The persons who experience these impulses usu- 
ally show no love of cruelty outside the sphere of sexual emo- 
tion; they may even be very intolerant of cruelty. Even when 
their sexual impulses come into play they may still desire to 
secure the pleasure of the persons who arouse their sexual 
emotions, even though it may not be often true that those 
who desire to inflict pain at these moments identify them- 
selves with the feelings of those on whom they inflict it. We 
have thus seen that when we take a comprehensive survey of 
all these phenomena a somewhat general formula will alone 
cover them. Our conclusion so far must be that under certain 
abnormal circumstances pain, more especially the mental repre- 
sentation of pain, acts as a powerful sexual stimulant. 

The reader, however, who has followed the discussion to 
this point will be prepared to take the next and final step in 
our discussion and to reach a more definite conclusion. The 



question naturally arises: By what process does pain or its 
mental representation thus act as a sexual stimulant? The 
answer has over and over again been suggested by the facts 
brought forward in this study. Pain acts as a sexual stimulant 
because it is the most powerful of all methods for arousing 

The two emotions most intimately associated with pain 
are anger and fear. The more masculine and sthenic emotion 
of anger, the more passive and asthenic emotion of fear, are 
the fundamental animal emotions through which, on the 
psychic side, the process of natural selection largely works. 
Every animal in some degree owes its survival to the emotional 
reaction of anger against weaker rivals, to the emotional re- 
action of fear against stronger rivals. To this cause we owe 
it that these two emotions are so powerfully and deeply rooted 
in the whole zoological series to which we belong. But anger 
and fear are not less fundamental in the sexual life. Court- 
ship on the male's part is largely a display of combativity, 
and even the very gestures by which the male seeks to appeal 
to the female are often those gestures of angry hostility by 
which he seeks to intimidate enemies. On the female's part 
courtship is a skillful manipulation of her own fears, and, as 
we have seen elsewhere, when studying the phenomena of 
modesty, that fundamental attitude of the female in courtship 
is nothing but an agglomeration of fears. 

Tlie biological significance of the emotions is now well recognized. 
"In general," remarks one of the shrewdest writers on animal psychol- 
ogy, "we may say that emotional states are, under natural condi- 
tions, closely associated with behavior of biological value — with tend- 
encies that are beneficial in self-preservation and race preservation — 
with actions that promote survival, and especially with the behavior 
which clusters round the pairing and parental instincts. The value 
of the emotions in animals is that they are an indirect means of further- 
ing survival." (Lloyd Morgan, Animal Behavior, p. 293.) Emotional 
aptitudes persist not only by virtue of the fact that they are still bene- 
ficial, but because they once were; that is to say, they may exist a3 
survivals. Tn this connection I may quote from a suggestive paper on 
"Teasing and Bullying," by F. L. Burk; at the conclusion of this study, 


■which is founded on a large body of data concerning American children, 
the author asks: "Accepting for the moment the theories of Spencer 
and Eibot upon the transmission of rudimentary instincts, is it possible 
that the movements which comprise the chief elements of bullying, 
teasing, and the egotistic impulses in general of the classes cited — 
pursuing, throwing down, punching, striking, throwing missiles, etc. — 
are, from the standpoint of consciousness, broken neurological frag- 
ments, which are parts of old chains of activity involved in the pursuit, 
combat, capture, torture, and killing of men and enemies? Is 

not this hypothesis of transmitted fragments of instincts in accord with 
the strangely anomalous fact that children are at one moment seem- 
ingly cruel and at the next affectionate and kind, vibrating, as it were, 
between two worlds, egotistic and altruistic, without conscious sense 
of incongruity?" (F. L. Burk, "Teasing and Bullying," Pedagogical 
Seminary, April, 1897.) 

The primitive connection of the special emotions of anger and fear 
with the sexual impulse has been well expressed by Colin Scott in his 
remarkable study of "Sex and Art": "If the higher forms of courting 
are based on combat, among the males at least anger must be inti- 
mately associated with love. And below both of these lies the possi- 
bility of fear. In combat the animal is defeated who is first afraid. 
Competitive exhibition of prowess will inspire the less able birds with a 
deterring fear. Young grouse and woodcock do not enter the lists 
with the older birds, and sing very quietly. It is the same with the 
very oldest birds. Audubon says that the old maids and bachelors of 
the Canada goose move off by themselves during the courting of the 
younger birds. In order to succeed in love, fear must be overcome in 
the male as well as in the female. Courage is the essential male virtue, 
love is its outcome and reward. The strutting, crowing, dancing, and 
singing of male birds and the preliminary movements generally of 
animals must gorge the neuromotor and muscular systems with blood 
and put them in better fighting trim. The effects of this upon the feel- 
ings of the animal himself must be very great. Hereditary tendencies 
swell his heart. He has 'the joy that warriors feel.' He becomes regard- 
less of danger, and sometimes almost oblivious of his surroundings. 
This intense passionateness must react powerfully on the whole system, 
and more particularly on those parts which are capable, such as the 
brain, of using up a great surplus of blood, and on the naturally erethie 
functions of sex. The flood of anger or fighting instinct is drained off 
by the sexual desires, the antipathy of the female is overcome, and sexual 
union successfully ensues. Courting and combat shade into 

one another, courting tending to take the place of the more basal form 
of combat. The passions which thus come to be associated with love are 


those of fear and anger, both of which, by arousing the whole nature 
and stimulating the nutritive sources from which they flow, eome to 
increase the force of the sexual passion to which they lead up and in 
which they culminate and are absorbed.'' (Colin Scott, 'Sex and Art," 
American Journal of Psychology, vol. vii, Xo. 2, pp. 170 and 215.) 

It must be remembered that fear is an element liable to arise 
in all courtship on one side or the other. It is usually on the side of 
the female, but not invariably. Among spiders, for instance, it is 
usually the male who feels fear, and very reasonably, for he is much 
weaker than the female. Courtship by the male spider," says T. H. 
Montgomery ("The Courtship of Araneads," American Xaiuralist, 
March, 1910, p. 166), "results from a combination of the state of 
desire for and fear of the female/ It is by his movements of fear that 
he advertises himself to the female as a male, and it is by the same 
movements that he is unconsciously impelled to display prominently his 
own ornamentation. 

We are thus brought to those essential facts of primitive 
courtship with which we started. But we are now able to un- 
derstand more clearly how it is that alien emotional states be- 
came abnormally associated with the sexual life. Xormally the 
sexual impulse is sufficiently reinforced by the ordinary active 
energies of the organism which courtship itself arouses, ener- 
gies which, while they may be ultimately in part founded on 
anger and fear, rarely allow these emotions to be otherwise 
than latent. Motion, it may be said, is more prominent than 

Even normally a stimulant to emotional activities is pleas- 
urable, just as motion itself is pleasurable. It may even be 
useful, as was noted long ago by Erasmus Darwin; he tells of 
a friend of his who, when painfully fatigued by riding, would 
call up idea= arousing indignation, and thus relieve the fatigue, 
the indignation, as Darwin pointed out, increasing muscular 
activity. 1 

It is owing to this stimulating action that discomfort, even 
pain, may be welcomed on account of the emotional waves they 
call up, because they "lash into movement the dreary calm 
of the sea's soul," and produce that alternation of pain and 

1 Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia, vol. i, p. 496. 


enjoyment for which Faust longed. Groos, who recalls this 
passage in his very thorough and profound discussion of the 
region wherein tragedy has its psychological roots, points out 
that it is the overwhelming might of the storm itself, and 
not the peace of calm after the storm, which appeals to us. In 
the same way, he observes, even surprise and shock may also 
be pleasurable, and fear, though the most depressing of emo- 
tional states, by virtue of the joy produced by strong stimuli 
is felt as attractive; we not only experience an impulse of 
pleasure in dominating our environment, but also have pleas- 
ure in being dominated and rendered helpless by a higher 
power. 1 Hirn, again, in his work on the origins of art, has 
an interesting chapter on "The Enjoyment of Pain," a phe- 
nomenon which he explains by its resultant reactions in increase 
of outward activity, of motor excitement. Anger, he observes 
elsewhere, is "in its active stage a decidedly pleasurable emo- 
tion. Fear, which in its initial stage is paralyzing and de- 
pressing, often changes in time when the first shock has been 
relieved by motor reaction. . . . Anger, fear, sorrow, not- 
withstanding their distinctly painful initial stage, are often 
not only not avoided, but even deliberately sought.-" 2 

In the ordinary healthy organism, however, although the 
stimulants of strong emotion may be vaguely pleasurable, they 
do not have more than a general action on the sexual sphere, 
nor are they required for the due action of the sexual mech- 
anism. But in a slightly abnormal organism — whether the 
anomaly is due to a congenital neuropathic condition, or to a 
possibly acquired neurasthenic condition, or merely to the 
physiological inadequacy of childhood or old age — the balance 

i K. Groos, Spiele der Hcnschen, pp. 200-210. 

2 Hirn, Origins of Art, p. 54. Reference may here perhaps be made 
to the fact that unpleasant memories persist in women more than in 
men {American Journal of Psychology, 1899, p. 244). This had already 
been pointed out by Coleridge. "It is a remark that I have made many 
times," we find it said in one of his fragments (Anima Poetcr, p. 89), 
"and many times, I guess, shall repeat, that women are infinitely fonder 
of clinging to and beating about, hanging upon and keeping up, and 
reluctantly letting fall any doleful or painful or unpleasant subject, 
than men of the same class and rank." 


of nervous energy is less favorable for the adequate play of 
the ordinary energies in courtship. The sexual impulse is itself 
usually weaker, even when, as often happens, its irritability 
assumes the fallacious appearance of strength. It has become 
unusually sensitive to unusual stimuli and also, it is possible, — 
perhaps as a result of those conditions, — more liable to ata- 
vistic manifestations. An organism in this state becomes pecu- 
liarly apt to seize on the automatic sources of energy generated 
by emotion. The parched sexual instinct greedily drinks up 
and absorbs the force it obtains by applying abnormal stimuli 
to its emotional apparatus. It becomes largely, if not solely, 
dependent on the energy thus secured. The abnormal organ- 
ism in this respect may become as dependent on anger or fear, 
and for the same reason, as in other respects it may become 
dependent on a'eohol. 

We see the process very well illustrated by the occasional 
action of the emotion of anger. In animals the connection 
between love and anger is so close that even normally, as 
Groos points out, in some birds the sight of an enemy may 
call out the gestures of courtship. 1 As Krafft-Ebing remarks, 
both love and anger '"'seek their object, try to possess them- 
selves of it, and naturally exhaust themselves in a physical 
effect on it; both throw the psychomotor sphere into the most 
intense excitement, and by means of this excitement reach 
their normal expression."" 2 Fere has well remarked that the 
impatience of desire may itself be regarded as a true state of 
anger, and Stanley Hall, in his admirable study of anger, notes 
that "erethism of the breasts or sexual parts'' was among the 
physical manifestations of anger occurring in some of his cases, 
and in one case a seminal emission accompanied everv violent 
outburst. Thus it is that anger may be used to reinforce a 

1 Groos. Hpiele der Thiere, p. 251. Maeder (Jahrbuch fiir Psycho- 
analytisclw Fcrschungen, 1909, vol. i, p. 149) mentions an epileptic 
girl of 22 who masturbates when she is in a rage with anyone. 

- Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia h'cxualis, English translation of tenth 
edition, p. 78. 

3 Stanlev Hall. 'A Studv of Anger/' American Journal of Psychol- 
ogy, July, 1509, p. 549. 


weak sexual impulse, and cases have been recorded in which 
coitus could only be performed when the man had succeeded in 
working himself up into an artificial state of anger. 1 On the 
other hand, Fere has recorded a case in which the sexual ex- 
citement accompanying delayed orgasm was always transformed 
into anger, though without any true sadistic manifestations. 2 
As a not unexpected complementary phenomenon to this 
connection of anger and sexual emotion in the male, it is some- 
times found that the spectacle of masculine anger excites pleas- 
urable emotion in women. The case has been recorded of a 
woman who delighted in arousing anger for the pleasure it gave 
her, and who advised another woman to follow her example 
and excite her husband's anger, as nothing was so enjoyable 
as to see a man in a fury of rage 3 ; Lombroso mentions a woman 
who was mostly frigid, but experienced sexual feelings when 
she heard anyone swearing; and a medical friend tells me of a 
lady considerably past middle age who experienced sexual 
erethism after listening to a heated argument between her 
husband and a friend on religious topics. The ease has also been 
recorded of a masochistic man who found sexual satisfaction 
in masturbating while a woman, by his instructions, addressed 
him in the lowest possible terms of abuse. 4 Such a feeling 
doubtless underlies that delight in teasing men which is so 
common among young women. Stanley Hall, referring to the 
almost morbid dread of witnessing manifestations of anger felt 
by many women, remarks : "In animals, females are often 
described as watching with complacency the conflict of rival 
males for their possession, and it seems probable that the 

1 Krafft-Ebing refers to such a case as recorded by Sehulz, Psycho- 
pathia Sexualis, p. 78. 

2 Ferg, L'Instinct sexuel, p. 213. 

3 C. F. von Sehlichtegroll, Sacher-Masoch v/nd der Masochismus, 
p. 31. 

i Archivio di Psichiatria, vol. xv, p. 120. Mention may also be 
made of the cases (described as hysterical mixoseopia by Kiernan, 
Alienist and Neurologist, May, 1903) in which young women address 
to themselves anonymous letters of an abusive and disgusting character, 
and show them to others. 



intense horror of this state, which many females report, is 
associated more or less unconsciously with the sexual rage 
which has followed it." 1 The dread may well be felt at least 
as much as regards the emotional state in themselves as in the 

Even when the emotion aroused is disgust it may still act 
as a sexual stimulant. Stcherbak has narrated the instructive 
case of a very intelligent and elegant married lady of rather 
delicate constitution, an artist of some talent, who never experi- 
enced any pleasure in sexual intercourse, but ever since sexual 
feelings first began to be manifested at all (at the age of 18) 
has only experienced them in relation to disgusting things. 
Anything that is repulsive, like vomit, etc., causes vague but 
pleasurable feelings which she gradually came to recognize as 
sexual. The sight of a crushed frog will cause very definite sexual 
sensations. She has had many admirers and she has observed 
that a declaration of love by a disagreeable or even repulsive 
man sexually excites her, though she has no desire for sexual 
intercourse with him. 2 

After all that has gone before it is easy to see how the 
emotion of fear may act in an analogous manner to anger. 
Just as anger may reinforce the active forms of the sexual im- 
pulse to which it is allied, so fear may reinforce the passive 
forms of that impulse. The following observations, written by 
a lady, very well show how we may thus explain the sexual 
attractiveness of whipping: "The fascination of whipping, 
which has always greatly puzzled me, seems to be a sort of 
hankering after the stimulus of fear. In a wild state animals 
live in constant fear. In civilized life one but rarely feels it. 
A woman's pleasure in being afraid of a husband or lover may 
be an equivalent of a man's love of adventure; and the fear 
of children for their parents may be the dawning of the love 
of adventure. In a woman this desire of adventure receives a 
serious check when she begins to realize what she might be 

i Stanley Hall, loc. cit., p. 587. 

2 Archives de Neurologie, Oct., 1907. 


subjected to by a man if she gratified it. Excessive fear is 
demoralizing, but it seems to me that the idea of being whipped 
gives a sense of fear which is not excessive. It is almost the 
only kind of pain (physical) which is inflicted, on children or 
women by persons whom they can love and trust, and with a 
moral object. Any other kind of bodily ill treatment suggests 
malignity and may rouse resentment, and, in extreme cases, 
an excess of fear which goes beyond the limits of pleasurable 
excitement. Given a hereditary feeling of this sort, I think 
it is helped by the want of actual experience, as the associa- 
tion with excitement is freed from the idea of pain as such." 
In his very valuable and suggestive study of fears, Stanley 
Hall, while recognizing the evil of excessive fear, has empha- 
sized the emotional and even the intellectual benefits of fear, 
and the great part played by fear in the evolution of the race 
as "the rudimentary organ on the full development and sub- 
sequent reduction of which many of the best things in the soul 
are dependent." "Pears that paralyze some brains," he re- 
marks, "are a good tonic for others. In some form and degree 
all need it always. Without the fear apparatus in us, what a 
wealth of motive would be lost I" 1 

It is on the basis of this tonic influence of fear that in 
some morbidly sensitive natures fear acts as a sexual stimulant. 
Cullerre has brought together a number of cases in both men and 
women, mostly neurasthenic, in which fits of extreme anxiety 
and dread, sometimes of a religious character and often in highly 
moral people, terminate in spontaneous orgasm or in masturba- 
tion. 2 

Professor G-urlitt mentions that his first full sexual emis- 
sion took place in class at school, when he was absorbed in 
writing out the life of Aristides and very anxious lest he should 
not be able to complete it within the set time. 3 

1 G. Stanley Hall, "A Study of Fears," American Journal of Psy- 
chology, vol. viii, No. 2. 

2 A. Cullerre, "De l'Excitation Sexuelle dans les Psychopathies 
Anxieuses," Archives de Neurologic, Feb., 1905. 

3L. Gurlitt {Die Neue Generation, July, 1909). Moll (Sexual- 
leben des Kindes, p. 84) also give examples of the connection between 


Dread and anxiety not only excite sexual emotion, but in 
the more extreme morbid cases they may suppress and replace 
it. Terror, say Fliess, is transmuted coitus, and Freud believes 
that the neurosis of anxiety always has a sexual cause, while 
Ballet, Capgras, Lowenfeld, and others, though not regarding 
a sexual traumatism as the only cause, still regard it as frequent. 

It is worthy of note that not only fear, but even so de- 
pressing an emotion as grief, may act as a sexual stimulant, 
more especially in women. This fact is not sufficiently recog- 
nized, though probably everyone can recall instances from his 
personal knowledge, such cases being generally regarded as 
inexplicable. It is, however, not more surprising that grief 
should be transformed into sexual emotion than that (as in a 
case recorded by Stanley Hall) it should manifest itself as 
anger. In any case we have to bear in mind the frequency of 
this psychological transformation in the presence of cases 
which might otherwise seem to call for a cynical interpretation. 

The ease has been recorded of an English lady of go6d social posi- 
tion who fell in love with an undertaker at her father's funeral and in- 
sisted on marrying him. It is known that some men have been so 
abnormally excited by the funeral trappings of death that only in 
such surroundings have they been able to effect coitus. A case has 
been recorded of a physician of unimpeachable morality who was unable 
to attend funerals, even of his own relatives, on account of the sexual 
excitement thus aroused.- Funerals, tragedies at the theater, pictures of 
martyrdom, scenes of execution, and trials at the law-courts have been 
grouped together as arousing pleasure in many people, especially women. 
(C. F. von Schliehtegroll, Hacher-Masoch und der Masochismus, pp. 30-31.) 
Wakes and similar festivals may here find their psychological basis, and 
funerals are an unquestionable source of enjoyment among some people, 
especially of so-called "Celtic" race. The stimulating reaction after 
funerals is well known to many, and Leigh Hunt refers to this (in his 
Autobiography) as affecting the sincerely devoted friends who had just 
cremated Shelley. 

anxiety and sexual excitement. Freud (Der Wahn und die Traiime in 
Jensen's Gratlica, p. 52) considers that in dream-interpretation we may 
replace "terror" by "sexual excitement." In npting the general sexual 
effects of fear, we need not strictly separate the group of cases in which 
the sexual effects are physical only, and fail to be circuited through the 


It may well be, as Kiernan lias argued {Alienist and Neurologist, 
1S91; ibid., 1902, p. 263), that in the disturbance of emotional balance 
caused by grief the primitive instincts become peculiarly apt to respond 
to stimulus, aitd that in the aboulia of grief the mind is specially liable 
to become the prey to obsessions. 

"When my child died at the age of G months," a correspondent 
writes, "I had a violent paroxysm of weeping and for some days I could 
not eat. When I kissed the dead boy for the last time (I had never 
seen a corpse before) I felt I had reached the depths of misery and 
could never smile or have any deep emotions again. Yet that night, 
though my thoughts had not strayed to sexual subjects since the child's 
death, I had a, violent erection. I felt ashamed to desire carnal things 
when my dead child was still in the house, and explained to my wife. 
She was sympathetic, for her idea was that our common grief had 
intensified my love for her. I feel convinced, however, that my desire 
was the result of a stimulus propagated to the sexual centers from 
the centers affected by my grief, the transference of my emotion from 
one set of nerves to another. I do not perhaps express my meaning 

How far the emotional influence of grief entered into the following 
episode it is impossible to say, for here it is probable that we are mainly 
concerned with one of those almost irresistible impulses by which ado- 
lescent girls are sometimes overcome. The narrative is from the lips 
of a reliable witness, a railway guard, who, some thirty years ago, when 
a youth of 18, in Cornwall, lodged with a man and woman who had a 
daughter of his own age. Some months later, when requiring a night's 
lodging, he called at the house, and was greeted warmly by the woman, 
who told him her husband had just died and that she and her daughter 
were very nervous and would be glad if he would stay the night, but 
that as the corpse occupied the other bedroom he would have to share 
their bed ("We don't think very much of that among us," my informant 
added ) . He agreed, and went to bed, and when, a little later, the two 
women also eame to bed, the girl, at her own suggestion, lay next to 
the youth. Nothing happened during the night, but in the morning, 
when the mother went down to light the. fire, the daughter immediately 
threw off the bedclothes, exposing her naked person, and before the 
youth had realized what was happening she had drawn him over on to 
her. He was so utterly surprised that nothing whatever happened, but 
the incident made a life-long impression on him. 

In this connection reference may be made to the story of the 
Ephesian matron in Petronius; the story of the widow, overcome by 
grief, who watches by her husband's tomb, and very speedily falls into 
the arms of the soldier who is on guard. This story, in very various 


forms, is found in China and India, and has occurred repeatedly in 
European literature during the last two thousand years. The history of 
the wanderings of this story has been told by Grisebaeh (Eduard Grise- 
baeh, Die Tieulose Witwe, third edition, 1877). It is not probable, 
however, that all the stories of this type are actually related; in any 
case it would seem that their vitality is due to the fact that they have 
been found to show a real correspondence to life; one may note, for 
instance, the curious tone of personal emotion with which George 
Chapman treated this theme in his play, Widow's Tears. 

It may be added that, in explaining the resort to pain as 
an emotional stimulus, we have to take into account not only 
the biological and psychological considerations here brought 
forward, but also the abnormal physiological conditions under 
which stimuli usually felt as painful come specially to possess 
a sexually exciting influence. The neurasthenic and neuro- 
pathic states may be regarded as conditions of more or less 
permanent fatigue. It is true that under the conditions we 
are considering there may be an extreme sensitiveness to 
stimuli not usually felt as of sexual character, a kind of hyper- 
esthesia; but hyperesthesia, it has well been said, is nothing 
but the beginning of anesthesia. 1 Sergeant Bertrand, the clas- 
sical example of necrophily, 2 began to masturbate at the age of 
9, stimulating a sexual impulse which may have been congeni- 
tally feeble by accompanying thoughts of ill-treating women. It 
was not till subsequently that he began to imagine that the 
"women were corpses. The sadistic thoughts were only incidents 
in the emotional evolution, and the real object throughout was 
to procure strong emotion and not to inflict cruelty. Some ob- 
servations of Fere's as to the conditions which influence the 
amount of muscular work accomplished with the ergograph are 
instructive from the present point of view: "Although sensi- 
bility diminishes in the course of fatigue," Fere found that 
"there are periods during which the excitability increases before 
it disappears. As fatigue increases, the perception of the inter- 

i See the article on "Neurasthenia" by Rudolf Arndt in Tuke's 
Dictionary of Psychological Medicine. 

- Lunier, Annates ilidico-psychologiques, 1849, p. 153. 


current excitation is retarded; an odor is perceived as exciting 
before it is perceived as a differentiated sensation; the most 
fetid odors arouse feelings of well-being before being perceived 
as odors, and their painful quality only appears afterward, or is 
not noticed at all." And after recording a series of results with 
the ergograph obtained under the stimulus of unpleasant 
odors he remarks: "We are thus struck by two facts: the 
diminution of work during painful excitation, and its increase 
when the excitation has ceased. When the effects following 
the excitation have disappeared the diminution is more rapid 
than in the ordinary state. When the fatigue is manifested 
by a notable diminution, if the same excitation is brought into 
action again, no diminution is produced, but a more or less 
durable increase, exactly as though there had been an agreeable 
excitation. Moreover, the stimulus which appears painful in a' 
state of repose loses that painful character either partially or 
completely when acting on the same subject in a more and 
more fatigued state." Fere defines a painful stimulus as a 
strong excitation which causes displays of energy which the will 
cannot utilize; when, as a result of diminished sensibility, the 
excitants are attenuated, the will can utilize them, and so there 
is no pain. 1 These experiments had no reference to the sexual 
instinct, but it will be seen at once that they have an extremely 
significant bearing on the subject before us, for they show us 
the mechanism of the process by which in an abnormal organism 
pain becomes a sexual stimulant. 

l Fer6, Comptes-rendus de la Socittf de Biologie, December 15 and 
22, 1900; id., Ann6e Psychologique, seventh year, 1901, pp. 82-129; 
more especially the same author's Travail et Plaisir, 1904. 


Summary of Results Reached — The Joy of Emotional Expansion — 
The Satisfaction of the Craving for Power — The Influence of Neuras- 
thenic and Neuropathic Conditions — The Problem of Pain in Love 
Largely Constitutes a Special Case of Erotic Symbolism. 

It may seem to some that in our discussion of the rela- 
tionships of love and pain we have covered a very wide field. 
This was inevitable. The subject is peculiarly difficult and 
complex, and if we are to gain a real insight into its nature 
we must not attempt to force the facts to fit into any narrow 
and artificial formulas of our own construction. Yet, as we 
have unraveled this seemingly confused mass of phenomena it 
will not have escaped the careful reader that the apparently 
diverse threads we have disentangled run in a parallel and 
uniform manner; they all have a like source and they all con- 
verge to a like result. We have seen that the starting-point 
of the whole group of manifestations must be found in the 
essential facts of courtship among animal and primitive human 
societies. Pain is seldom very far from some of the phases 
of primitive courtship; but it is not the pain which is the 
essential element in courtship, it is the state of intense emo- 
tion, of tumescence, with which at any moment, in some shape 
or another, pain may, in some way or another, be brought into, 
connection. So that we have come to see that in the phrase 
"love and pain" we have to understand by '"pain" a state of 
intense emotional excitement with which pain in the stricter 
sense may be associated, but is by no means necessarilv asso- 
ciated. It is the strong emotion which exerts the irresistible 
fascination in the lover, in his partner, or in both. The pain 
is merely the means to that end. It is the lever which is em- 
ployed to bring the emotional force to bear on the sexual 


impulse. The question of love and pain is mainly a question 
of emotional dynamics. 

In attaining this view of our subject we have learned that 
any impulse of true cruelty is almost outside the field altogether. 
The mistake was indeed obvious and inevitable. Let us 
suppose that every musical instrument is sensitive and that 
every musical performance involves the infliction of pain on the 
instrument. It would then be very difficult indeed to realize 
that the pleasure of music lies by no means in the infliction of 
pain. We should certainly find would-be scientific and analyt- 
ical people ready to declare that the pleasure of music is the 
pleasure of giving pain, and that the emotional effects of music 
are due to the pain thus inflicted. In algolagnia, as in music, 
it is not cruelty that is sought; it is the joy of being plunged 
among the waves of that great primitive ocean of emotions which 
underlies the variegated world of our everyday lives, and pain — 
a pain which, as we have seen, is often deprived so far as pos- 
sible of cruelty, though sometimes by very thin and feeble devices 
— is merely the channel by which that ocean is reached. 

If we try to carry our inquiry beyond the point we have 
been content to reach, and ask ourselves why this emotional 
intoxication exerts so irresistible a fascination, we might find 
a final reply in the explanation of Nietzsche — who regarded 
this kind of intoxication as of great significance both in life 
and in art — that it gives us the consciousness of energy and the 
satisfaction of our craving for power. 1 To carry the inquiry to 
this point would be, however, to take it into a somewhat 
speculative and metaphysical region, and we have perhaps done 
well not to attempt to analyze further the joy of emotional 
expansion. We must be content to regard the profound satis- 

l See, for instance, the section "Zur Physiologie der Kunst" in 
Nietzsche's fragmentary work, Der Wille zur Macht, Werke, Bd. xv. 
Groos (Spiele der Menschen, p. 89) refers to the significance of the fact 
that nearly all races have special methods of procuring intoxication. 
Cf. Partridge's study of the psychology of alcohol (American Journal 
of Psychology, April, 1900). "It is hard to imagine," this writer 
remarks of intoxicants, "what the religious or social consciousness of 
primitive man would have been without them." 


faction of emotion as due to a widespread motor excitement, 
the elements of which we cannot yet completely analyze. 1 

It is because the joy of emotional intoxication is the end 
really sought that we have to regard the supposed opposition 
between "sadism" and "masochism" as unimportant and indeed 
misleading. The emotional value of pain is equally great 
whether the pain is inflicted, suffered, witnessed, or merely 
exists as a mental imagination, and there is no reason why it 
should not coexist in all these forms in the same person, as, 
in fact, we frequently find it. 

The particular emotions which are invoked by pain to 
reinforce the sexual impulse are more especially anger and 
fear, and, as we have seen, these two very powerful and primi- 
tive emotions are — on the active and passive sides, respectively 
— the emotions most constantly brought into play in animal 
and early human courtship; so that they naturally constitute 
the emotional reservoirs from which the sexual impulse may 
still most easily draw. It is not difficult to show that the vari- 
ous forms in which "pain" — as we must here understand pain 
— is employed in the service of the sexual impulse are mainly 
manifestations or transformations of anger or fear, either in 
their simple or usually more complex forms, in some of which 
anger and fear may be mingled. 

TTe thus accept the biological origin of the psychological 
association between love and pain; it is traceable to the phe- 
nomena of animal courtship. We do not on this account ex- 
clude the more direct physiological factor. It may seem sur- 
prising that manifestations that have their origin in primeval 

i The muscular element is the most conspicuous in emotion, though 
it is not possible, as a careful student oi the emotions (H. R. Marshall, 
Pain, Pleasure, and Esthetics, p. 84) well points out, "to limit the 
physical activities involved with the emotions to such effects of volun- 
tary innervation or alteration of size of blood-vessels or spasm of organic 
muscle, as Lange seems to think determines them; nor to increase or 
decrease of muscle-power, as Fere's results might suggest; nor to such 
changes, in relation of size of capillaries, in voluntary innervation, in 
respiratory and heart functioning, as Lehmann has observed. 
Emotions seem to me to be coincidents of reactions of the whole organ- 
ism tending to certain results." 


forms of courtship should in many cases coincide with actual 
sensations of definite anatomical base today, and still more 
surprising that these traditional manifestations and actual sen- 
sations should so often be complementary to each other in their 
active and passive aspects : that is to say, that the pleasure of 
whipping should be matched by the pleasure of being whipped, 
the pleasure of mock strangling by the pleasure of being so 
strangled, that pain inflicted is not more desirable than pain 
suffered. But such coincidence is of the very essence of the 
whole group of phenomena. The manifestations of courtship 
were from the first conditioned by physiological facts; it is not 
strange that they should always tend to run pari passu with 
physiological facts. The manifestations which failed to find 
anchorage in physiological relationships might well tend to die 
Dut. Even under the most normal circumstances, in healthy 
persons of healthy heredity, the manifestations we have been 
considering are liable to make themselves felt. Under such 
circumstances, however, they never become of the first im- 
portance in the sexual process; they are often little more than 
play. It is only under neurasthenic or neuropathic conditions 
— that is to say, in an organism which from acquired or con- 
genital causes, and usually perhaps both, has become enfeebled, 
irritable, "fatigued" — that these manifestations are liable to 
flourish vigorously, to come to the forefront of sexual conscious- 
ness, and even to attain such seriously urgent importance that 
they may in themselves constitute the entire end and aim of 
sexual desire. Under these pathological conditions, pain, in 
the broad and special sense in which we have been obliged to 
define it, becomes a welcome tonic and a more or less indis- 
pensable stimulant to the sexual system. 

It will not have escaped the careful reader that in follow- 
ing out our subject we have sometimes been brought into con- 
tact with manifestations which scarcely seem to come within 
any definition of pain. This is undoubtedly so, and the refer- 
ences to these manifestations were not accidental, for they 
serve to indicate the real bearings of our subject. The rela- 


tionships of love and pain constitute a subject at once of so 
much gravity and so much psychological significance that it 
was well to devote to them a special study. But pain, as we 
have here to understand it, largely constitutes a special case 
of what we shall later learn to know as erotic symbolism : that 
is to say, the psychic condition in which a part of the sexual 
process, a single idea or group of ideas, tends to assume un- 
usual importance, or even to occupy the whole field of sexual 
consciousness, the part becoming a symbol that stands for the 
whole. When we come to the discussion of this great group 
of abnormal sexual manifestations it will frequently be neces- 
sary to refer to the results we have reached in studying the 
sexual significance of pain. 


A special and detailed study of the normal characters 
of the sexual.impulse in men seems unnecessary. I have else- 
where discussed various aspects of the male sexual impulse, 
and others remain for later discussion. But to deal with it 
broadly as a whole seems unnecessary, if only because it is 
predominantly open and aggressive. Moreover, since the con- 
stitution of society has largely been in the hands of men, the 
nature of the sexual impulse in men has largely been expressed 
in the written and unwritten codes of social law. The sexual 
instinct in women is much more elusive. This, indeed, is in- 
volved at the outset in the organic psychological play of male 
and female, manifesting itself in the phenomena of modesty 
and courting. The same elusiveness, the same mocking mys- 
tery, meet us throughout when we seek to investigate the 
manifestations of the sexual impulse in women. Nor is it easy 
to find any full and authentic record of a social state clearly 
founded in sexual matters on the demands of woman's nature. 

An illustration of our ignorance and bias in these matters is fur- 
nished by the relationship of marriage, celibacy, and divorce to suicide 
in the two sexes. There can be no doubt that the sexual emotions of 
women have a profound influence in determining suicide. This is in- 
dicated, among other facts, by a comparison of the suicide-rate in the 
sexes according to age; while in men the frequency of suicide increases 
progressively throughout life, in women there is an arrest after the age 
of 30; that is to say, when the period of most intense sexual emotion 
has been passed. This phenomenon is witnessed among peoples so un- 
like as the French, the Prussians, and the Italians. Now, how do 
marriage and divorce affect the sexual liability to suicide? We are al- 
ways accustomed to say that marriage protects women, and it is even 
asserted that men have self-sacrificingly maintained the institution of 
marriage mainly for the benefit of women. Professor Durkheim, how- 
ever, who has studied suicide elaborately from the sociological stand- 
point, so far as possible eliminating fallacies, has in recent years 
thrown considerable doubt on the current assumption. He shows that 



if we take the tendency to suicide as a test, and eliminate the influ- 
ence of children, who are an undoubted protection to women, it is not 
women, but men, who are protected by marriage, and that the protection 
of women from suicide increases regularly as divorces increase. After 
discussing these points exhaustively, "we reach a conclusion," he 
states, "considerably removed from the current view of marriage and 
the part it plays. It is regarded as having been instituted for the sake 
of the wife and to protect her weakness against masculine caprices, 
ilonogamy, especially, is very often presented as » sacrifice of man's 
polygamous instincts, made in order to ameliorate the condition of 
woman in marriage. In reality, whatever may have been the historical 
causes which determined this restriction, it is man who has profited 
most. The liberty which he has thus renounced could only have been 
a source of torment to him. Woman had not the same reasons for 
abandoning freedom, and from this point of view we may say that in 
submitting to the same rule it is she who has made the sacrifice." (E. 
Durkheim, he .Suicide, 1897, pp. 186-214, 289-311.) 

There is possibly some significance in the varying incidence of in- 
sanity in unmarried men and unmarried women as compared with the 
married. At Erlangen, for example, Hagen found that among insane 
women the preponderance of the single over the married is not nearly 
so great as among insane men, marriage appearing to exert a much 
more marked prophylactic influence in the case of men than of women. 
(F. TV. Hagen, Statistische Untersuchungen iiber Geisteskrankhe-iten, 
187G, p. 153.) The phenomena are here, however, highly complex, and, 
as Hagen himself points out, the prophylactic influence of marriage, 
while very probable, is not the only or even the chief factor at work. 

It is worth noting that exactly the same sexual difference may be 
traced in England. It appears that, in ratio to similar groups in the 
general population (taking the years 1876-1900, inclusive), the number 
of admissions to asylums is the same for both sexes among married 
people (i.e., 8.5), but for the single it is larger among the men (4.8 to 
4.5), as also it is among the widowed (17.9 to 13.9) (Fifty-sixth Annual 
Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy, England and Wales, 1902, p. 
141). This would seem to indicate that when living apart from men 
the tendency to insanity is less in women, but is raised to the male 
level when the sexes live together in marriage. 

Much the same seems to hold true of criminality. It was long 
since noted by Horsley that in England marriage decidedly increases 
the tendency to crime in women, though it decidedly decreases it in 
men. Prinzing has shown {Zeitschrift fur Soziahmssenschaft, Bd. ii, 
1899) that this is also -the case in Germany. 


Similarly marriage decreases the tendency of men to become 
habitual drunkards and increases that of women. Notwithstanding 
the fact that the average age of the men is greater than that of the 
women, the majority of the men admitted to the inebriate reformatories 
under the English Inebriates Acts are single; the majority of the 
women are married; of 865 women so admitted 32 per cent, were single, 
50 per cent, married, and 18 per cent, widows. (British Medical 
Journal, Sept. 2, 1911, p. 518.) 

It thus happens that even the elementary characters of 
the sexual impulse in women still arouse, even among the most 
competent physiological and medical authorities, — not least so 
when they are themselves women, — the most divergent opin- 
ions. Its very existence even may be said to be questioned. 
It would generally be agreed that among men the strength of 
the sexual impulse varies within a considerable range, but that 
it is very rarely altogether absent, such total absence being 
abnormal and probably more or less pathological. But if ap- 
plied to women, this statement is by no means always accepted. 
By many, sexual anesthesia is considered natural in women, 
some even declaring that any other opinion would be degrading 
to women; even by those who do not hold this opinion it is 
believed that theTe is an unnatural prevalence of sexual fri- 
gidity among civilized women. On these grounds it is desirable 
to deal generally with this and other elementary questions of 
allied character. 

The Primitive View of Women — As a Supernatural Element in 
Life — As Peculiarly Embodying the Sexual Instinct — The Modern Tend- 
ency to Underestimate the Sexual Impulse in Women — This Tendency 
Confined to Recent Times — Sexual Anesthesia — Its Prevalence — Diffi- 
culties in Investigating the Subject — Some Attempts to Investigate it — 
Sexual Anesthesia must be Regarded as Abnormal — The Tendency to 
Spontaneous Manifestations of the Sexual Impulse in Young Girls at 

Fkoii ven- early times it seems possible to trace two 
streams of opinion regarding women: on the one hand, a tend- 
ency to regard women as a supernatural element in life, more 
or less superior to men, and, on the other hand, a tendency to 
regard women as especially embodying the sexual instinct and 
as peculiarly prone to exhibit its manifestations. 

In the most primitive societies, indeed, the two views 
seem to be to some extent amalgamated; or,, it should rather 
be said, they have not yet been differentiated; and, as in such 
societies it is usual to venerate the generative principle of 
nature and its embodiments in the human body and in human 
functions, such a co-ordination of ideas is entirely rational. 
But with the development of culture the tendency is for this 
homogeneous conception to be split up into two inharmonious 
tendencies. Even apart from Christianity and before its ad- 
vent this may be noted. It was, however, to Christianity and 
the Christian ascetic spirit that we owe the complete differ- 
entiation and extreme development which these opposing views 
have reached. The condemnation of sexuality involved the 
glorification of the virgin; and indifference, even contempt, 
was felt for the woman who exercised sexual functions. It 
remained open to anyone, according to his own temperament, 
to identify the typical average woman with the one or with 
the other type; all the fund of latent sexual emotion which no 
ascetic rule can crush out of the human heart assured the 


picturesque idealization alike of the angelic and the diabolic 
types of woman.. We may trace the same influence subtly 
lurking even in the most would-be scientific statements of 
anthropologists and physicians today. 1 

It may not be out of place to recall at this point, once more, the 
fact, fairly obvious indeed, that the judgments of men concerning women 
are very rarely matters of cold scientific observation, but are colored 
both by their own sexual emotions and by their own moral attitude 
toward the sexual impulse. The ascetic who is unsuccessfully warring 
with his own carnal impulses may (like the voluptuary) see nothing in 
women but incarnations of sexual impulse; the ascetic who has sub- 
dued his own carnal impulses may see no elements of sex in women at 
all. Thus the opinions regarding this matter are not only tinged by ele- 
ments of primitive culture, but by elements of individual disposition. 
Statements about the sexual impulses of women often tell us less about 
women than about the persons who make them. 

The curious manner in which for men women become incarnations 
of the sexual impulse is shown by the tendency of both general and 
personal names for women to become applicable to prostitutes only. 
This is the case with the words "garce" and "fille" in French, "Madchen" 
and "Dime" in German, as well as with the French "catin" (Catherine) 
and the German "Metze" (Mathilde). (See, e.g., R. Kleinpaul, Die 
Rathsel der Sprache, 1890, pp. 197-198.) 

At the same time, though we have to recognize the presence of 
elements which color and distort in various ways the judgments of men 
regarding women, it must not be hastily assumed that these elements 
render discussion of the question altogether unprofitable. In most cases 
such prejudices lead chiefly to a one-sided solution of facts, against 
which we can guard. 

While, however, these two opposing currents of opinion 
are of very ancient origin, it is only within quite recent times, 
and only in two or three countries, that they have led to any 
marked difference of opinion regarding the sexual aptitude of 
women. In ancient times men blamed women for concupis- 
cence or praised them for chastity, but it seems to have been 
reserved for the nineteenth century to state that women are 

1 1 have had occasion to refer to the historic evolution of male 
opinion regarding women in previous volumes, as, e.g., Man and Woman, 
chapter i, and the appendix on "The Influence of Menstruation on the 
Position of Women" in the first volume of these Studies. 


apt to be congenitally incapable of experiencing complete sex- 
ual satisfaction, and peculiarly liable to sexual anesthesia. 
This idea appears to have been almost unknown to the eighteenth 
century. During the last century, however, and more especially 
in England, Germany, and Italy, this opinion has been frequently 
set down, sometimes even as a matter of course, with a tincture 
of contempt or pity for any woman afflicted with sexual emotions. 

In the treatise On Generation (chapter v), which until recent 
times was commonly ascribed to Hippocrates, it is stated that men 
have greater pleasure in coitus than women, though the pleasure of 
women lasts longer, and this opinion, though not usually accepted, was 
treated with great respect by medical authors down to the end of the 
seventeenth century. Thus A. Laurentius (Du Laurens), after a long 
discussion, decides that men have stronger sexual desire and greater 
pleasure in coitus than women. (Historia Anatomica Humani Corporis, 
1599, lib. viii, quest, ii and vii.) 

About half a century ago a book entitled Functions and Disorders 
of the Reproductive Organs, by W. Acton, a surgeon, passed through 
many editions and was popularly regarded as a standard authority on 
the subjects with which it deals. This extraordinary book is almost 
solely concerned with men; the author evidently regards the function 
of reproduction as almost exclusively appertaining to men. Women, if 
"well brought up," are, and should be, he states, in England, absolutely 
ignorant of all matters concerning it. "I should say," this author again 
remarks, "that the majority of women (happily for society) are not 
very much troubled with sexual feeling of any kind." The supposition 
that women do possess sexual feelings he considers "a vile aspersion." 

In the article "Generation," contained in another medical -work 
belonging to the middle of the nineteenth century, — Rees's Cyclopedia, — 
we find the following statement: "That a mucous fluid is sometimes 
found in coition from the internal organs and vagina is undoubted; but 
this only happens in lascivious women, or such as live luxuriously." 

Gall had stated decisively that the sexual desires of men are 
stronger and more imperious than those of women. (Fonctions du 
Cerveau, 1825, vol. iii, pp. 241-271.) 

Raciborski declared that three-fourths of women merely endure 
the approaches of men. (De la Pubertv chc~ la Femme, 1844. p. 486.) 

"When the question is carefully inquired into and without preju- 
dice," said Lawson Tait, "it is found that women have their sexual ap- 
petites far less developed than men." (Lawson Tait, "Remote Effects 
of Removal of the Uterine Appendages," Provincial Uedical Journal, 
May. 1S91.) "The sexual instinct is very powerful in man and com- 


paratively weak in women/' he stated elsewhere (Diseases of Women, 
1889, p. 60). 

Hammond stated that, leaving prostitutes out of consideration, 
it is doubtful if in one-tenth of the instances of intercourse they 
[women] experience the slightest pleasurable sensation from first to 
last (Hammond, Sexual Impotence, p. 300), and he considered (p. 
281) that this condition was sometimes congenital. 

Lombroso and Ferrero consider that sexual sensibility, as well as 
all other forms of sensibility, is less pronounced in women, and they 
bring forward various facts and opinions which seem to them to point 
in the same direction. "Woman is naturally and organically frigid." 
At the same time they consider that, while erethism is less, sexuality 
is greater than in men. (Lombroso and Ferrero, La Donna Delinquente, 
la Prostituta, e la Donna Sormale, 1893, pp. 54-58.) 

"It is an altogether false idea," Fehling declared, in his rectorial 
address at the University of Basel in 1891, "that a young woman has 
just as strong an impulse to the opposite sex as a young man. 
The appearance of the sexual side in the love of a young girl is patho- 
logical." (H. Fehling, Die Bestimmung der Frau, 1892, p. 18.) In his 
Lehrbuch der FrauenJcranlcheiten the same gynecological authority 
states his belief that half of all women are not sexually excitable. 

Krafft-Ebing was of opinion that women require less sexual satis- 
faction than men, being less sensual. (Krafft-Ebing, "Ueber Neurosen 
und Psychosen durch sexuelle Abstinenz," Jahroucher fiir Psychiatrie, 
1888, Bd. viii, ht. 1 and 2.) 

"In the normal woman, especially of the higher social classes," 
states Windseheid, "the sexual instinct is acquired, not inborn; when it 
is inborn, or awakes by itself, there is abnormality. Since women do 
not know this instinct before marriage, they do not miss it when they 
have no occasion in life to learn it." (F. Windseheid, "Die Beziehungen 
zwischen Gynakologie und Neurologie," Zentralblatt fiir Gynakologie, 
1896, No. 22; quoted by Moll, Libido Sexualis, Bd. i, p. 271.) 

"The sensuality of men," Moll states, "is in my opinion very 
much greater than that of women." (A. Moll, Die Kontrare Sexual- 
empfindung, third edition, 1899, p. 592.) 

"Women are, in general, less sensual than men," remarks Nacke, 
"notwithstanding the alleged greater nervous supply of their sexual 
organs." (P. Nacke, "Kritisches zum Kapitel der Sexualitat," Archiv 
fiir Psychiatrie, 1899, p. 341.) 

Lowenfeld states that in normal young girls the specifically sexual 
feelings are absolutely unknown; so that desire cannot exist in them. 
Putting aside the not inconsiderable proportion of women in whom this 
absence of desire may persist and be permanent, even after sexual re- 


lationships hare begun, thus constituting absolute frigidity, in a still 
larger number desire remains extremely moderate, constituting a state 
of relative frigidity. He adds that he cannot unconditionally support 
the view of Fiirbringer, who is inclined to ascribe sexual coldness to the 
majority of German married women. (L. Lowenfeld, Sexualleben und 
Xervenleiden, 1899, second edition, p. 11.) 

Adler, who discusses the question at some length, decides that the 
sexual needs of women are less than those of men, though in some 
cases the orgasm in quantity and quality greatly exceeds that of men. 
He believes, not only that the sexual impulse in women is absolutely 
less than in men, and requires stronger stimulation to arouse it, but 
that also it suffers from a latency due to inhibition, which acts like a 
foreign body in the brain (analogous to the psychic trauma of Breuer 
and Freud in hysteria), and demands great skill in the man who is 
to awaken the woman to love. (0. Adler, Die Hangelhafte Geschlechts- 
empfindung des Weibes, 1904, pp. 47, 126 ct seq.; also enlarged second 
edition, 1911; id., "Die Frigide Frau," Scxual-Probleme, Jan., 1912.) 

It must not, however, be supposed that this view of the 
natural tendency of women to frigiditj' has everywhere found 
acceptance. It' is not only an opinion of very recent growth, 
but is confined, on the whole, to a few countries. 

"Turn to history," wrote Brierre de Boismont, '"and on every page 
you will be able to recognize the predominance of erotic ideas in women." 
It is the same today, he adds, and he attributes it to the fact that men 
are more easily able to gratify their sexual impulses. (Des Hallucina- 
tions, 1862, p. 431.) 

The laws of Manu attribute to women concupiscence and anger, 
the love of bed and of adornment. 

The Jews attributed to women greater sexual desire than to men. 
This is illustrated, according to Knobel (as quoted by Dillmann), by 
Genesis, chapter iii, v. 16. 

In Greek antiquity the romance and sentiment of love were mainly 
felt toward persons of the same sex, and were divorced from the more 
purely sexual feelings felt for persons of opposite sex. Theognis com- 
pared marriage to cattle-breeding. In love between men and women the 
latter were nearly always regarded as taking the more active part. In 
all Greek love-stories of early date the woman falls in love with the 
man, and never the reverse. JEsehylus makes even a father assume that 
his daughters will misbehave if left to themselves. Euripides emphasized 
the importance of women; "The Euripidean woman who 'falls in love' 
thinks first of all : "How can I seduce the man I love ?' " ( E. F. M. 


Benecke, Antimachus of Colophon and the Position of Women in Greek 
Poetry, 1896, pp. 34, 54.) 

The most famous passage in Latin literature as to the question of 
whether men or women obtain greater pleasure from sexual intercourse 
is that in which Ovid narrates the legend of Tiresias (Metamorphoses, 
iii, 317-333). Tiresias, having been both a man and a woman, decided 
in favor of women. This passage was frequently quoted down to the 
eighteenth century. 

In a passage quoted from u. lost work of Galen by the Arabian 
biographer, Abu-1-Faraj, that great physician says of the Christians 
"that they practice celibacy, that even many of their women do so." 
So that in Galen's opinion it was more difficult for a woman than for a 
man to be continent. 

The same view is widely prevalent among Arabic authors, and there 
is an Arabic saying that "The longing of the woman for the penis is 
greater than that of the man for the vulva." 

In China, remarks Dr. Coltman, "when an old gentleman of my 
acquaintance was visiting me my little daughter, 5 years old, ran into 
the room, and, climbing upon my knee, kissed me. My visitor expressed 
his surprise, and remarked: 'We never kiss our daughters when they 
are so large; we may when they are very small, but not after they are 
3 years old,' said he, 'because it is apt to excite in them bad emotions.' " 
(Coltman, The Chinese, 1900, p. 99.) 

The early Christian Fathers clearly show that they regard women 
as more inclined to sexual enjoyment than men. That was, for instance, 
the opinion of Tertullian (De Yirginious Velandis, chapter x), and it is 
clearly implied in some of St. Jerome's epistles. 

Notwithstanding the influence of Christianity, among the vigorous 
barbarian races of medieval Europe, the existence of sexual appetite in 
women was not considered to be, as it later became, a matter to be 
concealed or denied. Thus in 1068 the ecclesiastical historian, Ordericus 
Vitalis (himself half Norman and half English), narrates that the 
wives of the Norman knights who had accompanied William the Con- 
queror to England two years earlier sent over to their husbands to say 
that they were consumed by the fierce flames of desire ("sseva libidinis 
face urebantur"), and that if their husbands failed to return very 
shortly they proposed to take other husbands. It is added that this 
threat brought a few husbands back to their wanton ladies ("lascivis 
dominabus suis"K 

During the medieval period in Europe, largely in consequence, no 
doubt, { of the predominance of ascetic ideals set up by men who naturally 
regarded woman as the symbol of sex, the doctrine of the incontinence 
of woman became firmly fixed, and it is unnecessary and unprofitable to 


quote examples. It is sufficient to mention the very comprehensive 
statement of Jean de Meung (in the Raman de la Rose, 9903) : — 

"Toutes estes, seres, ou lutes 
De fait ou de volunte putes." 

The satirical Jean de ileung was. however, a somewhat extreme 
and untypical representative of his age, and the fourteenth century 
Johannes de Sancto Amando (Jean de St. Amand) gives a somewhat 
more scientifically based opinion (quoted by Pagel, Seue litterarische 
Beitrage :ur Mittelaiterlichen ilediein, 1S0G, p. 30) that sexual desire 
is stronger in women than in men. 

Humanism and the spread of the Renaissance movement brought 
in a spirit more sympathetic to women. Soon after, especially in Italy 
and France, we begin to find attempts at analyzing the sexual emotions, 
which are not always without a certain subtlety. In the seventeenth 
century a book of this kind was written by Yenette. In matters of 
love, Yenette declared, "men are but children compared to women. In 
these matters women have a more lively imagination, and they usually 
have more leisure to think of love. Women are much more lascivious 
and amorous than men." This is the conclusion reached in a chapter 
devoted to the question whether men or women are the more amorous. 
In a subsequent chapter, dealing with the question whether men or 
women receive more pleasure from the sexual embrace, Yenette con- 
cludes, after admitting the great difficulty of the question, that man's 
pleasure is greater, but woman's lasts longer. (X. Yenette, De la 
Grnvration de VHomme ou Tableau de VAmour Conjugal, Amsterdam, 
lOSs. j 

At a much earlier date, however, Montaigne had discussed this 
matter with his usual wisdom, and, while pointing out that men have 
imposed their own rule of life on women and their own ideals, and have 
demanded from them opposite and contradictory virtues, — a statement 
not yet antiquated, — he argues that women are incomparably more apt 
and more ardent in love than men are, and that in this matter they 
always know far more than men can teach them, for "it is a discipline 
that is born in their veins.' (Montaigne, Essais, book iii, chapter v.) 

The old physiologists generally mentioned the appearance of sexual 
desire in girls as one of the normal signs of puberty. This may be 
seen in the numerous quotations brought together by Schurig, in his 
Parthenologia , cap. ii. 

A long succession of distinguished physicians throughout the 
seventeenth century discussed at more or less length the relative amount 
of sexual desire in men and women, and the relative degree of their 
pleasure in coitus. It is remarkable that, although they usually attach 


great weight to the supposed opinion of Hippocrates in the opposite 
sense, most of them decide that both desire and pleasure are greater 
in women. 

Plazzonus decides that women have more sources of pleasure in 
coitus than men because of the larger extent of surface excited; and if 
it were not so, he adds, women would not be induced to incur the pains 
and risks of pregnancy and childbirth. (Plazzonus, De Pariibus Gener- 
ations Inservientibus, 1021, lib. ii, cap. xiii.) 

"Without doubt," says Ferrand, "woman is more passionate than 
man, and more often torn by the evils of love." (Ferrand, De la 
Alaladie d'Amour, 1623, chapter ii.) 

Zacehia, mainly on a priori grounds, concludes that women have 
more pleasure in coitus than men. (Zacehia, Qucvstiones Medico-legales, 
1630, lib. iii, quest, vii.) 

Sinibaldus, discussing whether men or women have more salacity, 
decides in favor of women. (J. B. Sinibaldus, Geneamthropeia, 1642, 
lib. ii, tract, ii, cap. v.) 

Hornius believed that women have greater sexual pleasure than 
men, though he mainly supported his opinion by the authority of 
classical poets. (Hornius, Historia Naturalis, 1670, lib. iii, cap. i.) 

Neuter describes what we may now call women's affectability, and 
considers that it makes them more prone than men to the sexual 
emotions, as is shown by the fact that, notwithstanding their modesty, 
they sometimes make sexual advances. This greater proneness of women 
to the sexual impulse is, he remarks, entirely natural and right, for 
the work of generation is mainly carried on by women, and love is its 
basis: "generationis fundamentum est amor." (G-. P. Nenter, Theoria 
Hominis Sani, 1714, cap. v, memb. ii.) 

The above opinions of seventeenth-century physicians are quoted 
from the original sources. Schurig, in his Gyncecologia (pp. 46-50 and 
71-81), quotes a number of passages on this subject from medical 
authorities of the same period, on which I have not drawn. 

SSnancour, in his fine and suggestive book on love, first published 
in 1806, asks: "Has sexual pleasure the same power on the sex which 
less loudly demands it? It has more, at all events in some respects. 
The very vigor and laboriousness of men may lead them to neglect love, 
but the constant cares of maternity make women feel how important 
it must ever be to them. We must remember also that in men the 
special emotions of love only have a single focus, while in women the 
organs of lactation are united to those of conception. Our feelings are 
all determined by these material causes." (Senancour, De V Amour, 
fourth edition, 1834, vol. i, p. 68.) A later psychologist of love, 
this time a woman, Ellen Key, states that woman's erotic demands, 

200 Psychology of sex. 

though more silent than man's, are stronger. (Ellen Key, Veber Liebe 
und Ehe, p. 138.) 

Michael Evan considered that sexual enjoyment "is more deli- 
cious and protracted" in women, and ascribed this to a more sensitive 
nervous system, a finer and more delicate skin, more acute feelings, and 
the fact that in women the mammal are the seat of a vivid sensibility 
in sympathy with the uterus. (II. Ryan, Philosophy of Marriage, 
1837, p. 133.) 

Busch was inclined to think women have greater sexual pleasure 
than men. (D. W. H. Busch, Das Gesehlechtsleben des Weibes, 1839, 
vol. i, p. 69.) Kobelt held that the anatomical conformation of the 
sexual organs in women led to the conclusion that this must be the 

Guttceit, speaking of his thirty years' medical experience in Russia, 
says: "In Russia at all events, a, girl, as very many have acknowledged 
to me, cannot resist the ever stronger impulses of sex beyond the twenty- 
second or twenty-third year. And if she cannot do so in natural ways 
she adopts artificial ways. The belief that the feminine sex feels the 
stimulus of sex less than the male is quite false." (Guttceit, Dreissig 
Jahre Praxis, 1873, theil i, p. 313.) 

In Scandinavia, according to Vedeler, the sexual emotions are at 
least as strong in women as in men (Vedeler, "De Impotentia Femi- 
narum,'' Xorsk Magazin for Laegevidenslaben, March, 1894). In 
Sweden, Dr. Eklund, of Stockholm, remarking that from 25 to 33 per 
cent, of the births are illegitimate, adds: "We hardly ever hear anyone 
talk of a woman having been seduced, simply because the lust is at the 
worst in the woman, who, as a, rule, is the seducing party." (Eklund, 
Transactions of the American Association of Obstetricians, Philadel- 
phia, 1892, p. 307.) 

On the opposite side of the Baltic, in the Konigsberg district, the 
same observation has been made. Intercourse before marriage is the 
rule in most villages of this agricultural district, among the working 
classes, with or without intention of subsequent marriage; "the girls 
are often the seducing parties, or at least very willing; they seek to 
bind their lovers to them and compel them to marriage." In the Koslin 
district of Pomerania, where intercourse between the girls and youths 
is common, the girls come to the youths' rooms even more frequently 
than the youths to the girls'. In some of the Dantzig districts the girls 
give themselves to the youths, and even seduce them, sometimes, but 
not always, with a view of marriage. (Wittenberg, Die geschlechtsit- 
tlichen Terhalten der Landbeioohner im Dcutschen Reiche, 1895, Bd. i, 
pp. 47, 61, 83.) 

Mantegazza devoted great attention to this point in several of the 


works he published during fifty years, and was decidedly of the 
opinion that the sexual emotions are much stronger in women than in 
men, and that women have much more enjoyment in sexual intercourse. 
In his Fisiologia del Piaccre he supports this view, and refers to the 
greater complexity of the genital apparatus in women (as well as its 
larger surface and more protected position ) , to what he considers to be 
the keener sensibility of women generally, to the passivity of women, 
etc.; and he considers that sexual pleasure is rendered more seductive 
to women by the mystery in which it is veiled for them by modesty and 
our social habits. In a more recent work (Fisiologia della Donna, cap. 
viii) Mantegazza returns to this subject, and remarks that long ex- 
perience, while confirming his early opinion, has modified it to the 
extent that he now believes that, as compared with men, the sexual 
emotions of women vary within far wider limits. Among men few are 
quite insensitive to the physical pleasures of love, while, on the other 
hand, few are thrown by the violence of its emotional manifestations 
into a state of syncope or convulsions. Among women, while some are 
absolutely insensitive, others ( as in cases with which he was acquainted ) 
are so violently excited by the paradise of physical love that, after the 
sexual embrace, they faint or fall into a cataleptic condition for several 

"Physical sex is a larger factor in the life of the woman. 
If this be true of the physical element, it is equally true of the mental 
element." (Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, The Human Element in Sex, fifth 
edition, 1894, p. 47.) 

"In the female sex,'' remarks Clouston, ''reproduction is a, more 
dominant function of the organism than in the male, and has far larger, 
if not more intense, relationships to feeling, judgment, and volition." 
(Clouston, Xeuroses of Development, 1891.) 

"It may be said," Marro states, "that in woman the visceral sys- 
tem reacts, if not with greater intensity, certainly in a more general 
manner, to all the impressions, having a sexual basis, which dominate 
the life of woman, if not as sexual emotions properly so called, as related 
emotions closely dependent on the reproductive instinct." (A. Marro, 
La Puberta, 1898, p. 233.) 

Forel also believed (Die Sexuelle Frage, p. 274) that women are 
more erotic than men. 

The gynecologist Kisch states his belief that "The sexual impulse 
is so powerful in women that at certain periods of life its primitive force 
dominates her whole nature, and there can be no room left for reason to 
argue concerning reproduction; on the contrary, union is desired even 
in the presence of the fear of reproduction or when there can be no ques- 
tion of it." He regards absence of sexual feeling in women as patho- 


logical. (Kisch, des Weibes, second edition, pp. 205-206.) 
In his later work (The Sexual Life of Woman) Kisch. again asserts that 
sexual impulse always exists in mature women (in the absence of 
organic sexual defect and cerebral disease), though it varies in strength 
and may be repressed. In adolescent girls, however, it is weaker than 
in youths of the same age. After she has had sexual experiences, Kisch 
maintains, a, woman's sexual emotions are just as powerful as a man's, 
though she has more motives than a man for controlling them. 

Eulenburg is of the same opinion as Kisch, and sharply criticises 
the loose assertion of some authorities who have expressed themselves 
in an opposite sense. (A. Eulenburg, Sexuale Xeuropatliie, pp. 88-90; 
the same author has dealt with the point in the Zukunft, December 2, 

Kossmann states that the opinion as to the widespread existence 
of frigidity among women is a fable. (Kossmann, Allgemeine Gyntc- 
cologie, 1903, p. 302.) 

Bloch concludes that "in most cases the sexual coldness of women 
is in fact only apparent, either due to the concealment of glowing 
sexuality beneath the veil of outward reticence prescribed by conven- 
tional morality, or else to the husband who has not succeeded in 
arousing erotic sensations which are complicated and with difficulty 
awakened. The sexual sensibility of women is certainly 

different from that of men, but in strength it is at least as great." 
(Iwan Bloch, Das Hexualleben unserer Zeit, 1907, ch. v.) 

Xystrom, also, after devoting a chapter to the discussion of the 
causes of sexual coldness in women, concludes : "My conviction, founded 
on experience, is, that only a small number of women would be without 
sexual feeling if sound views and teaching prevailed in respect to the 
sexual life, if due weight were given to inner devotion and tender 
caresses as the preliminaries of love in marriage, and if couples who 
wish to avoid pregnancy would adopt sensible preventive methods 
instead of coitus interruptus." (A. Xystrom, Das GescMichtsleben und 
seine Gesetze, eighth edition, 1907, p. 177.) 

We thus find two opinions widely current: one, of world- 
wide existence and almost universally accepted in those ages 
and centers in wliieh life is lived most nakedly, according to 
which the sexual impulse is stronger in women than in men,; 
another, now widely prevalent in many countries, according 
to which the sexual instinct is distinctly weaker in women, if, 
indeed, it may not be regarded as normally absent altogether. 
A third view is possible : it may be held that there is no dif- 


ierence at all. This view, formerly not very widely held, is that 
of the French physiologist, Beaunis, as it is of Winckel; while 
Bohleder, who formerly held that sexual feeling tends to be 
defective in women, now believes that men and women are equal 
in sexual impulse. 

At an earlier period, however, Donatus (De Mcdica Eisioria 
Miraoili, 1G13, lib. iv, cap. xvii) held the same view, and remarked 
that sometimes men and sometimes women are the more salacious, 
varying with the individual. Roubaud (De I'lmpuissance, 1855, p. 
3S) stated that the question is so difficult as to be insoluble. 

In dealing with the characteristics of the sexual impulse 
in women, it will be seen, we have to consider the prevalence 
in them of what is commonly termed (in its slightest forms) 
frigidity or hyphedonia, and (in more complete form) sexual 
anesthesia or anaphrodism, or erotic blindness, or anhedonia. 1 

Many modern writers have referred to the prevalence of fri- 
gidity among women. Shufeldt believes (Pacific Medical Journal, Nov., 
1907 ) that 75 per cent, of married women in New York are afflicted 
with sexual frigidity, and that it is on the increase; it is rare, how- 
ever, he adds, among Jewish women. Hegar gives 50 per cent, as the 
proportion of sexually anesthetic women; Fiirbringer says the majority 
•of women are so. Effertz (quoted by Lowenfeld, SexuaUeoen und 
Nervenleiden, p. 11, apparently with approval) regards 10 per cent, 
among women generally as sexually anesthetic, but only 1 per cent, 
men. Moll states (Eulenburg's Encyclopadie, fourth edition, art. 
"Geschlechtstrieb" ) that the prevalence of sexual anesthesia among 
German women varies, according to different authorities, from 10 to 
66 per cent. Elsewhere Moll (Kontriire Sexualempfindung, third edition, 
1890, p. 510) emphasizes the statement that "sexual anesthesia in 
women is much more frequent than is generally supposed." He ex- 
plains that he is referring to the physical element of pleasure and 
satisfaction in intercourse, and of desire for intercourse. He adds that 
the psychic side of love is often more conspicuous in women than in 
men. He cannot agree with Sollier that this kind of sexual frigidity 

l The terminology proposed by Ziehen ( "Zur Lehre von den 
psychopathischen Konstitutionen," Charite Annalen, vol. xxxxiii, 1909) 
is as follows: For absence of sexual feeling, anhedonia; for diminution 
of the same, hyphedonia; for excess of sexual feeling, hyperhedonia; 
for qualitative sexual perversions, parhedonia. "Erotic blindness" was 
suggested by Nardelli. 


is a symptom of hysteria. Fere (L'Instinct Sexuel, second edition, p. 
112), in referring to the greater frequency of sexual anesthesia in 
women) remarks that it is often associated with neuropathic states, as 
well as with anomalies of the genital organs, or general troubles of 
nutrition, and is usually acquired. Some authors attribute great im- 
portance to amenorrhea in this connection; one investigator has found 
that in 4 out of 14 cases of absolute amenorrhea sexual feeling was 
absent. Lowenfeld, again (Sexualleoen und "S ervenleiden) , referring 
to the common misconception that nervous disorder is associated with 
increased sexual desire, points out that nervously degenerate women 
far more often display frigidity than increased sexual desire. Else- 
where (Veoer die Sexuelle Konsiitution) Lowenfeld says it is only 
among the upper classes that sexual anesthesia is common. Campbell 
Clark, also, showed some years ago that, in young women with a 
tendency to chlorosis and a predisposition to insanity, defects of pelvic 
and mammary development are very prevalent. {Journal of Mental 
Science, October, 1888.) 

As regards the older medical authors, Schurig (Spermatologia, 
1720, p. 243, and (hjnccologia, 1730, p. 81) brought together from the 
literature and from his own knowledge eases of women who felt no 
pleasure in coitus, as well as of some men who had erections without 

There is, however, much uncertainty as to what precisely 
is meant by sexual frigidity or anesthesia. All the old medical 
authors carefully distinguish between the heat of sexual desire 
and the actual presence of pleasure in coitus; many modern 
writers also properly separate libido from voluptas, since it is 
quite possible to experience sexual desires and not to be able to 
obtain their gratification during sexual intercourse, and it is 
possible to hold, with Mantegazza, that women naturally have 
stronger sexual impulses than men, but are more liable than 
men to experience sexual anesthesia. But it is very much more 
difficult than most people seem to suppose, to obtain quite precise 
and definite data concerning the absence of either vohiptas or 
libido in a woman. Even if we accept the statement of the 
woman who asserts that she has either or both, the statement of 
their absence is by no means equally conclusive and final. As 
even Adler — who discusses this question fully and has very pro- 
nounced opinions about it — admits, there are women who stoutly 
deny the existence of any sexual feelings until such feelings are 


actually discovered. 1 Some of the most marked characteristics 
of the sexual impulse in women, moreover, — its association with 
modesty, its comparatively late development, its seeming pas- 
sivity, its need of stimulation, — all combine to render difficult 
the final pronouncement that a woman is sexually frigid. Most 
significant of all in this connection is the complexity of the 
sexual apparatus in women and the corresponding psychic diffi- 
culty — based on the fundamental principle of sexual selection — 
of finding a fitting mate. The fact that a woman is cold with 
one man or even with a succession of men by no means shows 
that she is not apt to experience sexual emotions; it merely 
shows that these men have not been able to arouse them. "I 
recall two very striking cases/' a distinguished gynecologist, the 
late Dr. Engelmann, of Boston, wrote to me, "of very attractive 
young married women — one having had a child, the other a mis- 
carriage — who were both absolutely cold to their husbands, as 
told me by both husband and wife. They could not understand 
desire or passion, and would not even believe that it existed. 
Yet, both these women with other men developed ardent passion, 
all the stronger perhaps because it had been so long latent." In 
such eases it is scarcely necessary to invoke Adler's theory of a 
morbid inhibition, or "foreign body in consciousness," which 
has to be overcome. We are simply in the presence of the natural 
fact that the female throughout nature not only requires much 
loving, but is usually fastidious in the choice of a lover. In the 
human species this natural fact is often disguised and perverted. 
"Women are not always free to choose the man whom they would 
prefer as a lover, nor even free to find out whether the man they 
prefer sexually fits them; they are, moreover, very often ex- 
tremely ignorant of the whole question of sex, and the victims 
of the prejudice and false conventions they have been taught. 
On the one hand, they are driven into an unnatural primness 
and austerity; on the other hand, they rebound to an equally 
unnatural facility or even promiscuity. Thus it happens that 

1 0. Adler, Die Mangelhafte Geschlechtsempfindung des Weibes, 
1904, p. 146. 


the men who find that a large number of women are not so facile 
as they themselves are, and as they have found a large number 
of women to be, rush to the conclusion that women tend to be 
'•sexually anesthetic." If we wish to be accurate, it is very 
doubtful whether we can assert that a woman is ever absolutely 
without the aptitude for sexual satisfaction. 1 She may unques- 
tionably be without any conscious desire for actual coitus. But 
if we realize to how large an extent woman is a sexual organism, 
and how diffused and even unconscious the sexual impulses may 
be, it becomes very difficult to assert that she has never shown 
any manifestation of the sexual impulse. All we can assert with 
some degree of positiveness in some cases is that she has not 
manifested sexual gratification, more particularly as shown by 
the occurrence of the orgasm, but that is very far indeed from 
warranting us to assert that she never will experience such 
gratification or still less that she is organically incapable of 
experiencing it. 2 It is therefore quite impossible to follow 
Adler when he asks us to accept the existence of a condition 
which he solemnly terms anceathesia sexuaHs completa idio- 
pathica, in which there is no mechanical difficulty in the way or 
psychic inhibition, but an "absolute" lack of sexual sensibility 
and a complete absence of sexual inclination. 3 

It is 'instructive to observe that Adler himself knows no 
"pure" ease of this condition. To find such a case he has to go 
back nearly two centuries to Madame de Warens, to whom he 

i A correspondent tells me that he knows a woman who has been 
a prostitute since the age of 15, but never experienced sexual pleasure 
and a real, non-simulated orgasm till she was 23; since then she has 
become very sensual. In other similar cases the hitherto indifferent 
prostitute, having found the man who suits her, abandons her profes- 
sion, even though she is thereby compelled to live in extreme poverty. 
"An insensible woman," as La Bruyere long ago remarked in his 
chapter "Des Femmes," ''is merely one who has not yet seen the man 
she must love." 

2 Guttceit {Dreissig Jahre Praxis, vol. i, p. 416) pointed out that 
the presence or absence of the orgasm is the only factor in "sexual 
anesthesia" of which we can speak at all definitely; and he believed 
that anaphrodism. in the sense of absence of the sexual impulse, never 
occurs at all. many women having confided to him that they had sexual 
desires, although those desires were not gratified by coitus. 

3 Op. cit., p. 164. 


devotes a whole chapter. He has, moreover, had the courage in 
writing this chapter to rely entirely on Kousseau's Confessions, 
which were written nearly half a century later than the episodes 
they narrated, and are therefore full of inaccuracies, besides 
being founded on an imperfect and false knowledge of Madame 
de Warens's earlier life, and written by a man who was, there can 
be no doubt, not able to arouse women's passions. Adler shows 
himself completely ignorant of the historical investigations of De 
Montet, Mugnier, Eitter, and others which, during recent years, 
have thrown a flood of light on the life and character of Madame 
de Warens, and not even acquainted with the highly significant 
fact that she was hysterical. 1 This is the basis of "fact" on which 
we are asked to accept anaesthesia sexualis completa idiopathica! 2 

"In dealing with the alleged absence of the sexual impulse," a well- 
informed medical correspondent writes from America, "much caution 
has to be used in accepting statements as to its absence, from the fact 
that most women fear by the admission to place themselves in an 
impure category. I am also satisfied that influx of women into universi- 
ties, etc., is often due to the sexual impulse causing restlessness, and 
that this factor finds expression in the prurient prudishness so often 
presenting itself in such women, which interferes with coeducation. This 
is becoming especially noticeable at the University of Chicago, where 
prudishness interferes with classical, biological, sociological, and physio- 
logical discussion in the classroom. There have been complaints by 
such women that a given professor has not left out embryological facts 
not in themselves in any way implying indelicacy. I have even been 
informed that the opinion is often expressed in college dormitories 
that embryological facts and discussions should be left out of a course 
intended for both sexes." Such prudishness, it is scarcely necessary to 
remark, whether found in women or men, indicates a mind that has 
become morbidly sensitive to sexual impressions. For the healthy 
mind embryological and allied facts have no emotionally sexual signifi- 
cance, and there is, therefore, no need to shun them. 

Kolischer, of Chicago ("Sexual Frigidity in Women," American 
Journal of Obstetrics, Sept., 1905), points out that it is often the 
failure of the husband to produce sexual excitement in the wife which 
leads to voluntary repression of sexual sensation on her part, or an 

lHavelock Ellis, "Madame de Warens," The Venture, 1903. 

2 It is interesting to observe that finally even Adler admits (op. 
cit., p. 155) that there is no such thing as congenital lack of aptitude 
for sexual sensibility. 


acquired sexual anesthesia. "Sexual excitement," lie remarks, "not 
brought to its natural climax, the reaction leaves the woman in a very 
disagreeable condition, and repeated occurrences of this kind may even 
lead to general nervous disturbances. Some of these unfortunate 
women learn to suppress their sexual sensation so as to avoid all these 
disagreeable sequelae. Such a state of affairs is not only unfortunate, 
because it deprives the female partner of her natural rights, but it is 
also to be deplored because it practically brings down such a married 
woman to the level of the prostitute." 

In illustration of the prevalence of inhibitions of various kinds, 
from without and from within, in suppressing or disguising sexual 
feeling in women, I may quote the following observations by an American 
lady concerning a series of women of her acquaintance: — 

"Mrs. A. This woman is handsome and healthy. She has never 
had children, much to the grief of herself and her husband. The man 
is also handsome and attractive. Mrs. A. once asked me if lovemaking 
between me and my husband ever originated with me. I replied it wa3 
as often so as not, and she said that in that event she could not see 
how passion between husband and wife could be regulated. When I 
seemed not to be ashamed of the matter, but rather to be positive in 
my views that it should be so, she at once tried to impress me with the 
fact that she did not wish me to think she 'could not be aroused.' 
This woman several times hinted that she had learned a great amount 
that was not edifying at boarding school, and I always felt that, with 
proper encouragement, she would have retailed suggestive stories. 

"Mrs. B. This woman lives to please her husband, who is a, 
spoiled man. She gave birth to a child soon after marriage, but was 
left an invalid for some years. She told me coition always hurt her, 
and she said it made her sick to see her husband nude. I was there- 
fore surprised, years afterward, to hear her say, in reply to a remark 
of another person, 'Yes; women are not only as passionate as men, I 
am sure they are more so.' I therefore questioned the lack of passion 
she had on former occasions avowed, or else felt convinced her improve- 
ment in health had made intercourse pleasant. 

"Miss C. A teacher. She is emotional and easily becomes 
hysterical. Her life has been one of self-sacrifice and her rearing most 
Puritanical. She told me she thought women did not crave sexual 
satisfaction unless it had been aroused in them. I consider her one 
who physically is injured by not having it. 

"Mrs. D. After being married a few years this person told me 
she thought intercourse 'horrid.' Some years after this, however, she 
fell in love with a man not her hsuband, which caused their separation. 
She always fancied men in love with her, and she told me that she and 


her husband tried to live without intercourse, fearing more children, 
but they could not do it; she also told of trying to refrain, for the 
same purpose, until safe parts of the menstrual month, but that 
'was just the time she cared least for it.' These remarks made me 
doubt the sincerity of the first. 

"Mrs. E. said she enjoyed intercourse as well as her husband, and 
she 'didn't see why she should not say so.' This same woman, whether 
using a current phrase or not, afterward said her husband 'did not 
bother her very often.' 

"Mrs. F., the mother of several children, was married to a 
man she neither loved nor respected, but she said that when a strange 
man touched her it made her tremble all over. 

"Mrs. G., the mother of many children, divorced on account of the 
dissipation, drinking and otherwise, of her husband. She is of the 
Creole type, but large and almost repulsive. She is a brilliant talker 
and she supports herself by writing. She has fallen in love with a 
number of young men, 'wildly, madly, passionately,' as one of them 
told me, and I am sure she suffers greatly from the lack of satisfaction. 
She would, no doubt procure it if it were possible. 

"I believe," the writer concludes, "women are as passionate as 
men, but the enforced restraint of years possibly smothers it. The 
fear of having children and the methods to prevent conception are, I am 
sure, potent factors in the injury to the emotions of married women. 
Perhaps the lack of intercourse acts less disastrously upon a, woman 
because of the renewed feeling which comes after each menstrual 

As bearing on the causes which have led to the disguise and mis- 
interpretation of the sexual impulse in women I may quote the follow- 
ing communication from another lady: — 

"I do think the coldness of women has been greatly exaggerated. 
Men's theoretically ideal woman (though they don't care so much about 
it in practice) is passionless, and women are afraid to admit that they 
have any desire for sexual pleasure. Rousseau, who was not very 
straight-laced, excuses the conduct of Madame de Warens on the ground 
that it was not the result of passion: an aggravation rather than a 
palliation of the offense, if society viewed it from the point of view of 
any other fault. Even in the modern novels written by the 'new woman' 
the longing for maternity, always an honorable sentiment, is dragged 
in to veil the so-called 'lower' desire. That some women, at any rate, 
have very strong passions and that great suffering is entailed by their 
repression is not, I am sure, sufficiently recognized, even by women them- 



"Besides the 'passionless ideal' which cheeks their sincerity, there 
are many causes which serve to disguise a woman's feelings to herself 
and make her seem to herself colder than she really is. Briefly these 
are: — 

'1. Unrecognized disease of the reproductive organs, especially 
after the birth of children. A friend of mine lamented to me her in- 
ability to feel pleasure, though she had done so before the birth of her 
child, then 3 years old. With considerable difficulty I persuaded her 
to see a doctor, who told her all the reproductive organs were seriously 
congested; so that for three years she had lived in ignorance and regret 
for her husband's sake and her own. 

"2. The dread of recommencing, once having suffered them, all the 
pains and discomforts of child-bearing. 

"3. Even when precautions are taken, much bother and anxiety is 
involved, which has a very dampening effect on excitement. 

"4. The fact that men will never take any trouble to find out what 
specially excites a woman. A woman, as a rule, is at some pains to 
find out the little things which particularly affect the man she loves, — 
it may he a trick of speech, a rose in her hair, or what not, — and she 
makes use of her knowledge. But do you know one man who will take 
the same trouble? (It is difficult to specify, as what pleases one person 
may not another. I find that the things that affect me personally are 
the following: [a] Admiration for a man's mental capacity will 
translate itself sometimes into direct physical excitement. [6] Scents 
of white flowers, like tuberose or syringa. [c] The sight of fireflies, [d] 
The idea or the reality of suspension, [e] Occasionally absolute passiv- 

"5. The fact that many women satisfy their husbands when them- 
selves disinclined. This is like eating jam when one does not fancy it, 
and has a similar effect. It is a great mistake, in my opinion, to do so, 
except very rarely. A man, though perhaps cross at the time, prefers, 
I believe, to gratify himself a few times, when the woman also enjoys it, 
to many times when she does not. 

"6. The masochistic tendency of women, or their desire for subjec- 
tion to the man they love. I believe no point in the whole question is 
more misunderstood than this. Nearly every man imagines that to 
secure a woman's love and respect he must give her her own way in 
small things, and compel her obedience in great ones. Every man who 
desires success with a woman should exactly reverse that theory." 

When we are faced by these various and often conflicting 
statements of opinion it seems necessary to obtain, if possible, a 


definite basis of objective fact. It would be fairly obvious in any 
case, and it becomes unquestionable in view of the statements I 
have brought together, that the best-informed and most sagacious 
clinical observers, when giving an opinion on a very difficult and 
elusive subject which they have not studied with any attention 
and method, are liable to make unguarded assertions ; sometimes, 
also, they become the victims of ethical or pseudoethical preju- 
dices, so as to be most easily influenced by that class of cases 
which happens to fit in best with their prepossessions. 1 In order 
to reach any conclusions on a reasonable basis^it is necessary to 
take a series of unselected individuals and to ascertain carefully 
the condition of the sexual impulse in each. 

At present, however, this is extremely difficult to do at 
all satisfactorily, and quite impossible, indeed, to do in a manner 
likely to yield absolutely unimpeachable results. Nevertheless, 
a few series of observations have been made. Thus, Dr. Harry 
Campbell 2 records the result of an investigation, carried on in 
his hospital practice, of 52 married women of the poorer class; 
they were not patients, but ordinary, healthy working-class 
women, and the inquiry was not made directly, but of the 
husbands, who were patients. Sexual instinct was said to be 
present in 12 cases before marriage, and absent in 40 ; in 13 of 
the 40 it never appeared at all ; so that it altogether appeared in 
39, or in the ratio of something over 75 per cent. Among the 12 
in whom it existed before marriage it was said to have appeared 
in most with puberty ; in 3, however, a few years before puberty, 
and in 2 a few years later. In 2 of those in whom it appeared 
before puberty, menstruation began late; in the third it rose al- 
most to nymphomania on the day preceding the first menstrua- 

1 "I am not entirely satisfied with the testimony as to the alleged 
sexual anesthesia," a medical correspondent writes. "The same prin- 
ciple which makes the young harlot an old saint makes the repentant 
rake a. believer in sexual anesthesia. Most of the medical men who be- 
lieve, or claim to believe, that sexual anesthesia is so prevalent do 
so either to natter their hysterical patients or because they have the 
mentality of the Hyacinthe of Zola's Paris." 

2 Differences in the Nervous Organization of Man and Woman, 
1891; chapter xiii, "Sexual Instinct in Men and Women Compared." 


tion. In nearly all the cases desire was said to be stronger in the 
husband than in the wife ; when it was stronger in the wife, the 
husband was exceptionally indifferent. Of the 13 in whom desire 
was absent after marriage, 5 had been married for a period under 
two years, and Campbell remarks that it would be wrong to con- 
clude that it would never develop in these cases, for in this group 
of cases the appearance of sexual instinct was sometimes a matter 
of days, sometimes of years, after the date of marriage. In two- 
thirds of the cases there was a diminution of desire, usually 
gradual, at the climacteric; in the remaining third there was 
either no change or exaltation of desire. The most important 
general result, Campbell concludes, is that "the sexual instinct 
is very much less intense in woman than in man," and to this 
he elsewhere adds a corollary that "the sexual instinct in the 
civilized woman is, I believe, tending to atrophy." 

An eminent gynecologist, the late Dr. Matthews Duncan, 
has (in his work on Sterility in Women) presented a table which, 
although foreign to this subject, has a certain bearing on the 
matter. Matthews Duncan, believing that the absence of sexual 
desire and of sexual pleasure in coitus are powerful influences 
working for sterility, noted their presence or absence in a number 
of caseSj and found that, among 191 sterile women between the 
ages of 15 and 45, 152, or 79 per cent., acknowledged the pres- 
ence of sexual desire; and among 196 sterile women (mostly the 
same cases), 134, or 68 per cent., acknowledged the presence of 
sexual pleasure in coitus. Omitting the cases over 35 years of 
age, which were comparatively few, the largest proportion of 
affirmative answers, both as regards sexual pleasure and sexual 
desire, was from between 30 and 34 years of age. Matthews 
Duncan assumes that the absence of sexual desire and sexual 
pleasure in women is thoroughly abnormal. 1 

i Matthews Duncan considered that "the healthy performance of 
the functions of child-bearing is surely connected with a well-regulated 
condition of desire and pleasure." "Desire and pleasure," he adds, "may 
be excessive, furious, overpowering, without bringing the female into 
the class of maniacs; they may be temporary, healthy, and moderate; 
they may be absent or dull." (Matthews Duncan, Goulstonian Lectures 
on Sterility in Woman, pp. 91, 121.) 


An English non-medical author, in the course of a thought- 
ful discussion of sexual phenomena, revealing considerable 
knowledge and observation, 1 has devoted a chapter to this sub- 
ject in another of its aspects. Without attempting to ascertain 
the normal strength of the sexual instinct in women, he briefly 
describes 11 cases of "sexual anesthesia" in women (in 2 or 3 of 
which there appears, however, to be an element of latent homo- 
sexuality) from among the circle of his own friends. This author 
concludes that sexual coldness is very common among English 
women, and that it involves questions of great social and ethical 

I have not met with any series of observations made among seem- 
ingly healthy and normal women in other countries; there are, how- 
ever, various series of somewhat abnormal cases in which the point 
was noted, and the results are not uninstructive. Thus, in Vienna at 
Krafft-Ebing's psychiatric clinic, Gattel [Ueber die seaouellen Ursaclien 
der Seurasthenie und Angstneurose, 1898) carefully investigated the 
cases of 42 women, mostly at the height of sexual life, — i.e., between 
20 and 35, — who were suffering from slight nervous disorders, especially 
neurasthenia and mild hysteria, but none of them from grave nervous 
or other disease. Of these 42, at least 17 had masturbated, at one 
time or another, either before or after marriage, in order to obtain 
relief of sexual feelings. In the ease of 4 it is stated that they do not 
obtain sexual satisfaction in marriage, but in these cases only coitus 
interruptus is practised, and the fact that the absence of sexual satis- 
faction was complained of seems to indicate an aptitude for experi- 
encing it. These 4 cases can therefore scarcely be regarded as excep- 
tions. In all the other cases sexual desire, sexual excitement, or sexual 
satisfaction is always clearly indicated, and in a considerable proportion 
of cases it is noted that the sexual impulse is very strongly developed. 
This series is valuable, since the facts of the sexual life are, as far as 
possible, recorded with much precision. The significance of the facts 
varies, however, according to the view taken as to the causation of 
neurasthenia and allied conditions of slight nervous disorder. Gattel • 
argues that sexual irregularities are a, peculiarly fruitful, if not in- 
variable, source of such disorders; according to the more commonly 
accepted view this is not so. If we accept the more usual view, these 
women fairly correspond to average women of lower class; if, how- 
ever, we accept Gattel's view, they may possess the sexual instinct 
in a more marked degree than average women. 

l Geoffrey Mortimer, Chapters on Human Love, 1898, ch. xvi. 


In a series of 116 German women in whom the operation of re- 
moving the ovaries was performed, Pfister usually noted briefly in what 
way the sexual impulse was affected by the operation ("Die Wirkung 
der Castration auf den Weibliehen Organismus," Arehiv fur Gynakologie, 
1898, p. 583). In 13 eases (all but 3 unmarried) the presence of sexual 
desire at any time was denied, and 2 of these expressed disgust of 
sexual matters. In 12 cases the point is left doubtful. In all the other 
eases sexual desire had once been present, and in 2 or 3 cases it was 
acknowledged to be so strong as to approach nymphomania. In about 
30 of these (not including any in which it was previously very strong) 
it was extinguished by castration, in a few others it was diminished, 
and in the rest unaffected. Thus, when we exclude the 12 cases in 
which the point was not apparently investigated, and the 10 unmarried 
women, in whom it may have been latent or unavowed, we find that, 
of 94 married women, 91 women acknowledged the existence of sexual 
desire and only 3 denied it. 

Schroter, again in Germany, has investigated the manifestations 
of the sexual impulse among 402 insane women in the asylum at Eich- 
berg in Rheingau. ("Wird bei jungen Unverheiratheten zur Zeit der 
Menstruation starkere sexuelle Erregheit beobachtet?" Allgemeine 
Zeitschrift fiir Psychiatrie, vol. lvi, 1899, pp. 321-333.) There is no 
reason to suppose that the insane represent a class of the community 
specially liable to sexual emotion, although its manifestations may 
become unrestrained and conspicuous under the influence of insanity; 
and at the same time, while the appearance of such manifestations is 
evidence of the aptitude for sexual emotions, their absence may be only 
due to disease, seclusion, or to an intact power of self-control. 

Of the 402 women, 166 were married and 236 unmarried. Schroter 
divided them into four groups : ( 1 ) those below 20 ; ( 2 ) those between 
20 and 30; (3) those between 30 and 40; (4) those from 40 to the 
menopause. The patients included persons from the lowest class of the 
population, and only about a quarter of them could fairly be regarded 
as curable. Thus the manifestations of sexuality were diminished, for 
with advance of mental disease sexual manifestations cease to appear. 
Schroter only counted those cases in which the sexual manifestations 
were decided and fairly constant at the menstrual epoch; if not visibly 
manifested, sexual feeling was not taken into account. Sexual phenomena 
accompanied the entry of the menstrual epoch in 141 cases: i.e., in 20 
(or in the proportion of 72 per cent.) of the first group, consisting 
entirely of unmarried women; in 33 (or 28 per cent.) of the second 
group; in 55 (or 35 per cent.) of the third group; and in 33 (or 33 per 
cent.) of the fourth group. It was found that 181 patients showed no 
sexua 1 phenomena at any time, while 80 showed sexual phenomena fre- 


quently between the menstrual epochs, but only in a slight degree, and 
not at all during the period. At all ages sexual manifestations were 
more prevalent among the unmarried than among the married, though 
this difference became regularly and progressively less with increase in 

Schroter inclines to think that sexual excitement is commoner 
among insane women belonging to the lower social classes than in those 
belonging to the better classes. Among 184 women in a private asylum, 
only 13 (6.13 per cent.) showed very marked and constant excitement 
at menstrual periods. He points out, however, that this may be due 
to a, greater ability to restrain the manifestations of feeling. 

There is some interest in Schroter's results, though they cannot 
be put on a line with inquiries made among the sane; they only 
represent the prevalence of the grossest and strongest sexual manifesta- 
tions when freed from the restraints of sanity. 

As a slight contribution toward the question, I have selected 
a series of 12 cases of women of whose sexual development I 
possess precise information, with the following results : In 2 
cases distinct sexual feeling was experienced spontaneously at 
the age of 7 and 8, but the complete orgasm only occurred some 
years after puberty; in 5 cases sexual feeling appeared spon- 
taneously for a few months to a year after the appearance of 
menstruation, which began between 12 and 14 years of age, 
usually at 13 ; in another ease sexual feeling first appeared 
shortly after menstruation began, but not spontaneously, being 
called out by a lover's advances ; in the remaining 4 cases sexual 
emotion never became definite and conscious until adult life 
(the ages being 26, 27, 34, 35), in 2 cases through being made 
love to, and in 2 cases through self-manipulation out of accident 
or curiosity. It is noteworthy that the sexual feelings first 
developed in adult life were usually as strong as those arising 
at puberty. It may be added that, of these 12 women, 9 had at 
some time or another masturbated (4 shortly after puberty, 5 in 
adult life), but, except in 1 case, rarely and at intervals. All 
belong to the middle class, 2 or 3 leading easy, though not 
idle, lives, while all the others are engaged in professional or 
other avocations often involving severe labor. They differ widely 
in character and mental ability ; but, while 2 or 3 might be re- 
garded as slightly abnormal, they are all fairly healthy. 


I am inclined to believe that the experiences of the fore- 
going group are fairly typical of the social class to which they 
belong. I may, however, bring forward another series of 35 
women, varying in age from 18 to 40 (with 2 exceptions all over 
25), and in every respect comparable with the smaller group, but 
concerning whom my knowledge, though reliable, is usually less 
precise and detailed. In this group 5 state that they have never 
experienced sexual emotion, these being all unmarried and lead- 
ing strictly chaste lives ; in 18 cases the sexual impulse may be 
described as strong, or is so considered by the subject herself; 
in 9 cases it is only moderate ; in 3 it is very slight when evoked, 
and with difficulty evoked, in 1 of these only appearing two years 
after marriage, in another the exhaustion and worry of house- 
hold cares being assigned for its comparative absence. It is note- 
worthy that all the more highly intelligent, energetic women in 
the series appear in the group of those with strong sexual emo- 
tions, and also that severe mental and physical labor, even when 
cultivated for this purpose, has usually had little or no influence 
in relieving sexual emotion. 

An American physician in the State of Connecticut sends me the 
following notes concerning a series of 13 married women, taken, as they 
occurred, in obstetric practice. They are in every way respectable and 
moral women: — 

"Mrs. A. says that her husband does not give her sufficient sexual 
attention, as he fears they will have more children than he can properly 
care for. Mrs. B. always enjoys intercourse; so does Mrs. C. Mrs. ~D. 
is easily excited and very fond of sexual attention. Mrs. E. likes inter- 
course if her husband is careful not to hurt her. Mrs. F. never had any 
sexual desire until after second marriage, but it is now very urgent 
at times. Mrs. G. is not easily excited, but has never objected to her 
husband's attention. Mrs. H. would prefer to have her husband exhibit 
more attention. Mrs. I. never refused her husband, but he does not 
trouble her much. Mrs. J. thinks that three or four times » week is 
satisfactory, but would not object to nightly intercourse. Mrs. K. does 
not think that her husband could give her more than she would like. 
Mrs. L. would prefer to live with a woman if it were not for sexual 
-intercourse. Mrs. 51., aged 40, says that her husband, aged 65, insists 
/ upon intercourse three times every night, and that he keeps her tired 
,' and disgusted. She each time has at least one orgasm, and would not 
object to reasonable attention.'' 


It may be remarked that, while these results in English 
women of the middle class are in fair agreement with the Ger- 
man and Austrian observations I have quoted, they differ from 
Campbell's results among women. of the working class in London. 
This discrepancy is, perhaps, not difficult to explain. While the 
conditions of upper-class life may possibly be peculiarly favorable 
to the development of the sexual emotions, among the working 
classes in London, where the stress of the struggle for exist- 
ence under bad hygienic conditions is so severe, they may be 
peculiarly unfavorable. It is thus possible that there really are 
a smaller number of women experiencing sexual emotion among 
the class dealt with by Campbell than among the class to which 
my series belong. 1 

A more serious consideration is the method of investigation. 
A working man, who is perhaps unintelligent outside his own 
work, and in many cases married to a woman who is superior in 
refinement, may possibly be able to arouse his wife's sexual emo- 
tions, and also able to ascertain what those emotions are, and be 
willing to answer questions truthfully on this point, to the best 
of his ability, but he is by no means a witness whose evidence is 
final. While, however, Campbell's facts may not be, quite un- 
questionable, I am inclined to agree with his conclusion, and 
Mantegazza's, that there is a very great range of variation in this 
matter, and that there is no age at which the sexual impulse in 
women may not appear. A lady who has received the confidence 
of very many women tells me that she has never found a woman 

1 1 do not, however, attach much weight to this possibility. The 
sexual instinct among the lower social classes everywhere is subject to 
comparatively weak inhibition, and Lowenfeld is probably right in be- 
lieving the women of the lower class do not suffer from sexual anesthesia 
to anything like the same extent as upper-class women. In England 
most women of the working class appear to have had sexual intercourse 
at some time in their lives, notwithstanding the risks of pregnancy, and 
if pregnancy occurs they refer to it calmly as an "accident," for which 
they cannot be held responsible; "Well, I couldn't help that," I have 
heard a young widow remark when mildly reproached for the existence 
of her illegitimate child. Again, among American negresses there 
seems to be no defect of sexual passion, and it is said that the majority 
of negresses in the Southern States support not only their children, but 
their lovers and husbands. 


who was without sexual feeling. I should myself be inclined to 
say that it is extremely difficult to find a woman who is without 
the aptitude for sexual emotion, although a great variety of cir- 
cumstances may hinder, temporaril}' or permanently, the develop- 
ment of this latent aptitude. In other words, while the latent 
sexual aptitude may always be present, the sexual impulse is 
liable to be defective and the aptitude to remain latent, with 
consequent deficiency of sexual emotion, and absence of sexual 

This is not only indicated by the considerable proportion of my 
cases in which there is only moderate or slight sexual feeling. I have 
ample evidence that in many cases the element of pain, which may 
almost be said to be normal in the establishment of the sexual function, 
is never merged, as it normally is, in pleasurable sensations on the full 
establishment of sexual relationships. Sometimes, no doubt, this may 
be due to dyspareunia. Sometimes there may be an absolute sexual 
anesthesia, whether of congenital or hysterical origin. I have been 
told of the case of a married lady who has never been able to obtain 
sexual pleasure, although she has had relations with several men, partly 
to try if she could obtain the experience, and partly to please them; 
the very fact that the motives for sexual relationships arose from no 
stronger impulse itself indicates a congenital defect on the psychic as 
well as on the physical side. But, as a rule, the sexual anesthesia 
involved is not absolute, but lies in a disinclination to the sexual act 
due to various causes, in a, defect of strong sexual impulse, and an 
inaptitude for the sexual orgasm. 

I am indebted to a lady who has written largely on the woman 
question, and is herself the mother of a numerous family, for several 
letters in regard to the prevalence among women of sexual coldness, a 
condition which she regards as by no means to be regretted. She 
considers that in all her own children the sexual impulse is very 
slightly developed, the boys being indifferent to women, the girls cold 
toward men and with no desire to marry, though all are intelligent and 
affectionate, the girls showing a very delicate and refined kind of beauty. 
(A large selection of photographs accompanied this communication.) 
Something of the same tendency is said to mark the stocks from which 
this family springs, and they are said to be notable for their longevity, 
healthiness, and disinclination for excesses of all kinds. It is scarcely 
necessary to remark that a mother, however highly intelligent, is by 
no means an infallible judge as to the presence or absence in her chil- 
dren of so shy, subtle, and elusive an impulse as that of sex. At the 


same time I am by no means disposed to question the existence in 
individuals, and even in families or stocks, of a relatively weak sexual 
impulse, which, while still enabling procreation to take place, is ac- 
companied by no strong attraction to the opposite sex and no marked 
inclination for marriage. (Adler, op. cit., p. 168, found such a condition 
transmitted from mother to daughter.) Such persons often possess a 
delicate type of beauty. Even, however, when the health is good there 
seems usually to be a certain lack of vitality. 

It seems to me that a state of sexual anesthesia, relative or 
absolute, cannot be considered as anything but abnormal. To 
take even the lowest ground, the satisfaction of the reproductive 
function ought to be at least as gratifying as the evacuation of 
the bowels or bladder; while, if we take, as we certainly must, 
higher ground than, this, an act which is at once the supreme 
fact and symbol of love and the supreme creative act cannot 
under normal conditions be other than the most pleasurable of 
all acts, or it would stand in violent opposition to all that we 
find in nature. 

How natural the sexual impulse is in women, whatever 
difficulties may arise in regard to its complete gratification, is 
clearly seen when we come to consider the frequency with which 
in young women we witness its more or less instinctive mani- 
festations. Such manifestations are liable to occur in a specially 
marked manner in the years immediately following the estab- 
lishment of puberty, and are the more impressive when we 
remember the comparatively passive part played by the female 
generally in the game of courtship, and the immense social force 
working on women to compel them to even an unnatural exten. 
sion of that passive part. The manifestations to which I allude 
not only occur with most frequency in young girls, but, contrary 
to the common belief, they seem to occur chiefly in innocent and 
unperverted girls. The more vicious are skillful enough to avoid 
the necessity for any such open manifestations. We have to 
bear this in mind when confronted by flagrant sexual phenomena 
in young girls. 

"A young girl," says Hammer ("Ueber die Sinnlichkeit gesunder 
Jungfrauen," Die Neue Generation, Aug., 1911), "who has not pre- 


viously adopted any method of self-gratification experiences at the 
beginning of puberty, about the time of the first menstruation and the 
sprouting of the pubic hair, in the absence of all stimulation by a man, 
spontaneous sexual tendencies of both local and psychic nature. On 
the psychic side there is a feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction, a 
need of subjection and of serving, and, if the opportunity has so far 
been absent, the craving to see masculine nudity and to learn the facts 
of procreation. Side by side with these wishes, there are at the same 
time inhibitory desires, such as the wish to keep herself pure, either 
for a man whom she represents to herself as the 'ideal,' or for her 
parents, who must not be worried, or as a member of a chosen people 
in whose spirit she must live and die, or out of love to Jesus or to 
some saint. On the physical side, there is the feeling of fresh power 
and energy, of enterprise; the agreeable tension of the genital regions, 
which easily become moist. Then there is the feeling of overirritability 
and excess of tension, and the need of relieving the tension through 
pinches, blows, tight lacing, and so forth. If the girl remains innocent 
of sex satisfaction, there takes place during sleep, at regular intervals 
of about three days, more or less the relief and emission of the tense 
glands, not corresponding to the menstrual period, but to intercourse, 
and serving better than sexual instruction to represent to her the 
phenomena of intercourse. If at this period actual intercourse takes 
place, it is, as a rule, free from pain, as also is the introduction of 
the speculum. Without any seduction from without, the chaste girl 
now frequently finds a way to relieve the excessive tension without the 
aid of a man. It is self-abuse that leads gradually to the production of 
pain in defloration. The menstrual phenomena correspond to birth; 
self-gratification or relief during sleep to intercourse." This statement 
of the matter is somewhat too absolute and unqualified. Under the 
artificial conditions of civilization the inhibitory influences of training 
speedily work powerfully, and more or less successfully, in banishing 
sexual phenomena into the subconscious, sometimes to work all the 
mischief there which Freud attributes to them. It must also be said 
(as I have pointed out in the discussion of Auto-erotism in another 
volume) that sexual dreams seem to be the exception rather than the 
rule in innocent girls. It remains true that sexual phenomena in girls 
at puberty must not be regarded as morbid or unnatural. There is also 
very good reason for believing (even apart from the testimony of so 
experienced a gynecologist as Hammer) that on the physical side sexual 
processes tend to be accomplished with a facility that is often lost in 
later years with prolonged chastity. This is true alike of intercourse 
and of childbirth. (See vol. vi of these Studies, eh. xii.) 


Even, however, in the case of adults the active part played 
by women in real life in matters of love by no means corresponds 
to the conventional ideas on these subjects. No doubt nearly 
every woman receives her sexual initiation from an older and 
more experienced man. But, on the other hand, nearly every 
man receives his first initiation through the active and designed 
steps taken by an older and more experienced woman. It is too 
often forgotten by those who write on these subjects that the man 
who seduces a woman has usually himself in the first place been 
"seduced" by a woman. 

A well-known physician in Chicago 'tells ine that on making in- 
quiry of 25 middle-class married men in succession be found that 16 
had been first seduced by a woman. An officer in the Indian Medical 
Service writes to me as follows : "Once at a club in Burma we were 
some 25 at table and the subject of first intercourse came up. All had 
been led astray by servants save 2, whom their sisters' governesses had 
initiated. We were all men in the 'service/ so the facts may be taken to 
be typical of what occurs in our stratum of society. All had had 
sexual relations with respectable unmarried girls, and most with the 
wives of men known to their fathers, in some instances these being 
old enough to be their lovers' mothers. Apparently up to the age of 17 
none had dared to make the first advances, yet from the age of 13 
onward all had had ample opportunity for gratifying their sexual in- 
stincts with women. Though all had been to public schools where 
homosexuality was known to occur, yet (as I can assert from intimate 
knowledge) none had given signs of inversion or perversion in Burma." 

In Russia, Tehlenoff, investigating the sexual life of over 2000 
Moscow students of upper and middle class (Archives d'Anthropolcgie 
Crvminelle, Oct.-Nov., 1908), found that in half of them the first coitus 
took place between 14 and 17 years of age; in 41 per cent, with prosti- 
tutes, in 39 per cent, with servants, and in 10 per cent, with married 
women. In 41 per cent, the young man declared that he had taken the 
initiative, in 25 per cent, the women took it, and in 23 per cent, the 
incitement came from a comrade. 

The histories I have recorded in Appendix B (as well as in the 
two following volumes of these Studies ) very well illustrate the tendency 
of young girls to manifest sexual impulses when freed from the con- 
straint which they feel in the presence of adult men and from the fear ' 
of consequences. These histories show especially how very frequently 
nurse-maids and servant-girls effect the sexual initiation of the young 
boys intrusted to them. How common this impulse is among adolescent 


girls of low social class is indicated by the fact that certainly the 
majority of middle-class men can recall instances from their own child- 
hood. (I here leave out of account the widespread practice among nurses 
of soothing very young children in their charge by manipulating the 
sexual organs.) 

A medical correspondent, in emphasizing this point, writes that 
"many boys will tell you that, if a nurse-girl is allowed to sleep in the 
same room with them, she will attempt sexual manipulations. Either 
the girl gets into bed with the boy and pulling him on to her tickles the 
penis and inserts it into the vulva, making the boy imitate sexual move- 
ments, or she simply masturbates the child, to get him excited and 
interested, often showing him the female sexual opening in herself or in 
his sisters, teaching him to finger it. In fact, a, nurse-girl may ruin a 
boy, chiefly, I think, because she has been brought up to regard the 
sexual organs as a mystery, and is in utter ignorance about them. She 
thus takes the opportunity of investigating the boy's penis to find out 
how it works, etc., in order to satisfy her curiosity. I know of a case 
in which a nurse in a fashionable London Square garden used to collect 
all the boys and girls (gentlemen's children) in a, summer-house when it 
grew dark, and, turning up her petticoats, invite all the boys to look at 
and feel her vulva, and also incite the older boys of 12 or 14 to have coitus 
with her. Girls are afraid of pregnancy, so do not allow an adult 
penis to operate. I think people should take on a far higher class of 
nurses than they do." 

"Children ought never to be allowed, under any circumstances 
whatever," wrote Lawson Tait (Diseases of Women, 1889, p. 62), "to 
sleep with servants. In every instance where I have found a number 
of children affected [by masturbation] the contagion has been traced 
to a servant." Freud has found (Xeurologisches Centralblatt , No. 10, 
1896) that in cases of severe youthful hysteria the starting point may 
frequently be traced to sexual manipulations by servants, nurse-girls, 
and governesses. 

"When I was about 8 or 9," a friend writes, "a servant-maid of 
our family, who used to carry the candle out of my bedroom, often 
drew down the bedclothes and inspected my organs. One night she put 
the penis in her mouth. When I asked her why she did it her answer 
was that 'sucking a boy's little dangle' cured her of pains in her stom- 
ach. She said that she had done it to other little boys, and declared 
that she liked doing it. This girl was about 16; she had lately been 
'converted.' Another maid in our family used to kiss me warmly on 
the naked abdomen when I was a small boy. But she never did more 
than that. I have heard of various instances of servant-girls tampering 
with boys before puberty, exciting the penis to premature erection by 


manipulation, suction, and contact with their own parts." Such over- 
stimulation must necessarily in some cases have an injurious influence 
on the boy's immature nervous system. Thus, Hutchinson {Archives of 
Surgery, vol. iv, p. 200) describes a case of amblyopia in a boy, 
developing after he had been placed to sleep in a servant-girl's room. 

Moll (Kontrare Sexualempfhidung, third edition, 1899, p. 325) 
refers to the frequency with which servant-girls (between the ages of 18 
and 30) carry on sexual practices with young boys (between 5 and 13) 
commited to their care. More than a century earlier Tissot, in his 
famous work on onanism, referred to the frequency with which servant- 
girls corrupt boys by teaching them to masturbate; and still earlier, 
in England, the author of Onania gave many such cases. We may, 
indeed, go back to the time of Rabelais, who (as Dr. Kiernan reminds 
me) represents the governesses of Gargantua, when he was a. child, as 
taking pleasure in playing with his penis till it became wet, and joking 
with each other about it. ( Gargantua, book i, chapter ix. ) 

The prevalence of such manifestations among servant-girls wit- 
nesses to their prevalence among lower-class girls generally. In judging 
such acts, even when they seem to be very deliberate, it is important to" 
remember that at this age unreasoning instinct plays a very large part 
in the manifestations of the sexual impulse. This is clearly indi- 
cated by the phenomena observed in the insane. Thus, as we have seen 
(page 214), Schroter has found that, among girls of low social class 
under 20 years of age, spontaneous periodical sexual manifestations at 
menstrual epochs occurred in as large a proportion as 72 per cent. 
Among girls of better social position these impulses are inhibited, or at 
all events modified, by good taste or good feeling, the influences of 
tradition or education; it is only to the latter that children should be 

Hoehe mentions a case in which a man was accused of repeatedly 
exhibiting his sexual organs to the servant-girl at a house; she enjoyed 
the spectacle (Neurologisches Geniralblatt, 1896, No. 2). It may well 
be that in some cases of self-exhibition the offender has good reason, on 
the ground of previous experience, for thinking that he is giving pleas- 
ure. "When we used to go to bathe while I was at school," writes a 
correspondent, "girls from a poor quarter of the lower town (some 
quite 16) often followed us and stood to watch about a hundred yards 
from the river. They used to 'giggle' and 'pass remarks.' I have seen, 
girls of this class peeping through chinks of a palisade around a bathing- 
place on the Thames." A correspondent who has given special attention 
to the point tells me of the great interest displayed by young girls of the 
people in Italy in the sexual organs of men. 


Curiosity — whether in the form of the desire for knowledge or 
the desire for sensation — is, of course, not confined to young girls and 
women of lower social strata, though in them it is less often restrained 
by motives of self-respect and good feeling. "At the age of 8," writes 
a correspondent, "I was one day playing in a spare room with a. girl 
of about 12 or 13. She gave me a, penholder, and, crouching upon her 
hands and knees, with her posterior toward me, invited me to intro- 
duce the instrument into the vulva. This was the first time I had 
seen the female parts, and, as I appeared to be somewhat repelled, she 
coaxed me to comply with her desire. I did as she directed, and she 
said that it gave her pleasure. Several times after I repeated the same 
act at her request. A friend tells me that when he was 10 a girl of 
16 asked him to lace up her boots. While he was kneeling at her feet 
his hand touched her ankle. She asked him to put his hand higher, and 
repeated "Higher, higher,' till he touched the pudenda, and finally, at 
her request, put his finger into the vestibule. This girl was very hand- 
some and amiable, and a favorite of the boy's mother. No one suspected 
this propensity." Again, a correspondent (a man of science) tells me of 
a friend who lately, when dining out, met a girl, the daughter of a country 
vicar ; he was not specially attracted to her and paid her no special atten- 
tion. "A few days afterward he was astonished to receive a call from her 
one afternoon (though his address is not discoverable from any recognized 
source). She sat down as near to him as she could, and rested her hand 
on his thigh, etc., while talking on different subjects and drinking tea. 
Then without any verbal prelude she asked him to have connection with 
her. Though not exactly a Puritan, he is not the man to jump at such 
an offer from a woman he is not in love with, so, after ascertaining that 
the girl was virgo intacta, he declined and she went away. A fortnight 
or so later he received a letter from her in the country, making no 
reference to what had passed, but giving an account of her work with 
her Sunday-school class. He did not reply, and then came a curt note 
asking him to return her letter. My friend feels sure she was devoted to 
autoerotic performances, but, having become attracted to him, came to 
the conclusion she would like to try normal intercourse." 

Wolbarst, studying the prevalence of gonorrhea among boys in 
New York (especially, it would appear, in quarters where the foreign- 
born elements — mainly Russian Jew and south Italian — are large), 
states: 'In my study of this subject there have been observed 3 cases 
of gonorrheal urethritis, in boys aged, respectively, 4, 10, and 12 years, 
which were acquired in the usual manner, from girls ranging between 
10 and 12 years of age. In each ease, according to the story told by 
the victim, the girl made the first advances, and in 1 case, that of the 
4-year-old boy, the act was consummated in the form of an assault, 


by a girl 12 years old, in which the child was threatened with injury 
unless he performed his part." (A. L. Wolbarst, Journal of the 
American Medical Association, Sept. 28, 1901.) In a further series of 
cases (Medical Record, Oct. '29, 1910) Wolbarst obtained similar results, 
though he recognizes also the frequency of precocious sexuality in the 
young boys themselves. 

Gibb states, concerning assaults on children by women: "It is 
undeniably true that they occur much more frequently than is gen- 
erally supposed, although but few of the eases are brought to public 
notice, owing to the difficulty of proving the charge." (W. T. Gibb, 
article "Indecent Assaults upon Children," in A. ileLane Hamilton's 
Hystem of Legal Medicine, vol. i, p. 651.) Gibb's opinion carries weight, 
since he is medical adviser for the Xew York Society for the Protection 
of Children, and compelled to sift the evidence carefully in such eases. 

It should be mentioned that, while a sexual curiosity exercised 
on younger children is, in girls about the age of puberty, an ill-regulated, 
but scarcely, morbid, manifestation, in older women it may be of patho- 
logical origin. Thus, Kisch records the case of a refined and educated 
lady of 30 who had been married for nine years, but had never experi- 
enced sexual pleasure in coitus. For a long time past, however, she 
had felt a strong desire to play with the genital organs of children of 
either sex, a proceeding which gave her sexual pleasure. She sought 
to resist this impulse as much as possible, but during menstruation it 
was often irresistible. Examination showed an enlarged and retroflexed 
uterus and anesthesia of vagina. (Kisch, Die Bterilitdt des Weibes, 
1886, p. 103.) The psychological mechanism by which an anesthetic 
vagina leads to a, feeling of repulsion for normal coitus and normal 
sexual organs, and directs the sexual feelings toward more infantile 
forms of sexuality, is here not difficult to trace. 

It is not often that the sexual attempts of girls and young women 
on boys — notwithstanding their undoubted frequency — become of med- 
icolegal interest. In France in the course of ten years (1874 to 1884) 
only 181 women, who were mostly between 20 and 30 years of age, were 
actually convicted of sexual attempts on children below 15. (Paul 
Bernard, "Viols et attentats a la Pudeur,'' Archives de I'Anthropologie 
Griminelle, 1887.) Lop ("Attentats a la Pudeur commis par des 
Femmes sur des Petits Enfants," id., Aug., 1896) brings together a 
number of cases chiefly committed by girls between the ages of 18 and 
20. In England such accusations against a young woman or girl may 
easily be circumvented. If she is under 16 she is protected by the 
Criminal Law Amendment Act and cannot be punished. In any case, 
when found out, she can always easily bring the sympathy to her side 
by declaring that she is not the aggressor, but the victim. Cases of 



violent sexual assault upon girls, Lawson Tait remarks, while they un- 
doubtedly do occur, are very much rarer than the frequency with which 
the charge is made would lead us to suspect. At one time, by arrange- 
ment with the authority, 70 such charges at Birmingham were con- 
secutively brought before Lawson Tait. These charges were all made 
under the Criminal Law Amendment Act. In only 6 of these cases 
was he able to advise prosecution, in all of which cases conviction 
was obtained. In 7 other cases in which the police decided to prosecute 
there was either no conviction or a, very light sentence. In at least 
26 cases the charge was clearly trumped up. The average age of these 
girls was 12. '"There is not a piece of sexual argot that ever had before 
reached my ears,'' remarks Mr. Tait, "but was used by these children 
in the descriptions given by them of what had been done to them; and 
they introduced, in addition, quite a new vocabulary on the subject. 
The minute and detailed descriptions of the sexual act given by chits 
of 10 and 11 would do credit to the pages of Jlirabeau. At first sight it 
is a puzzle to see how children so young obtained their information.'' 
"About the use of the word 'seduced,' " the same writer remarks, "I 
wish to say that the class of women from amongst whom the great bulk 
of these eases are drawn seem to use it in » sense altogether different 
from that generally employed. It is not with them a process in which 
male villainy succeeds by various arts in overcoming female virtue and 
reluctance, but simply a date at which an incident in their lives occurs 
for the first time ; and, according to their use of the phrase, the ancient 
legend of the Sacred Scriptures, had it ended in the more ordinary and 
usual way by the virtue of Joseph yielding to the temptation offered, 
would have to read as a record of the seduction of Jlrs. Potiphar." 

With reference to Lawson Tait's observation that violent assaults 
on women, while they do occur, are very much rarer than the frequency 
with which such charges are made would lead us to believe, it may be 
remarked that many medicolegal authorities are of the same opinion. 
(See, e.g., G. Vivian Poore's Treatise on Medical Jurisprudence, 1901, 
p. 325. This writer also remarks: "I hold very strongly that a woman 
may rape a man as much as a man may rape a woman.") There can 
be little doubt that the plea of force is very frequently seized on by 
women as the easiest available weapon of defense when her connection 
with a, man has been revealed. She has been so permeated by the cur- 
rent notion that no "respectable" woman can possibly have any sexual 
impulses of her own to gratify that, in order to screen what she feels 
to be regarded as an utterly shameful and wicked, as well as foolish, 
act, she declares it never took place by her own will at all. "Now, I 
ask you, gentlemen,'' I once heard an experienced counsel address the 
jury in a, criminal case, "as men of the world, have vou ever known 


or heard of a woman, a single woman, confess that she had had sexual 
connection and not declare that force had been used to compel her to 
such connection?" The statement is a little sweeping, but in this 
matter there is some element of truth in the "man of the world's" 
opinion. One may refer to the story (told by Etienne de Bourbon, by 
Francisco de Osuna in ;i religious work, and by Cervantes in Don 
Quixote, part ii, ch. xlv) concerning a magistrate who, when a girl 
came before him to complain of rape, ordered the accused young man 
either to marry her or pay her a sum of money. The fine was paid, and 
the magistrate then told the man to follow the girl and take the money 
from her by force; the man obeyed, but the girl defended herself so 
energetically that he could not secure the money. Then the judge, 
calling the parties before him again, ordered the fine to be returned: 
"Had you defended your chastity as well as you have defended your 
money it could not have been taken away from you." In most eases of 
"rape," in the case of adults, there has probably been some degree of 
consent, though that partial assent may have been basely secured by an 
appeal to the lower nervous centers alone, with no participation of the 
intelligence and will. Freud (Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens, 
p. 87 ) considers that on this ground the judge's decision in Don Quixote 
is "psychologically unjust," because in such a case the woman's strength 
is paralyzed by the fact that an unconscious instinct in herself takes 
her assailant's part against her own conscious resistance. But it must 
be remembered that the factor of instinct plays a large part even when 
no violence is attempted. 

Such facts and considerations as these tend to show that the 
sexual impulse is by no means so weak in women as many would 
lead lis to think. It would appear that, whereas in earlier ages 
there was generally a tendency to credit women with an unduly 
large share of the sexual impulse, there is now a tendency to 
unduly minimize the sexual impulse in women. 


Special Characters of the Sexual Impulse in Women — The More 
Passive Part Played by Women in Courtship — This Passivity only Ap- 
parent — The Physical Mechanism of the Sexual Process in Women More 
Complex — The Slower Development of Orgasm in Women — The Sexual 
Impulse in Women More Frequently Needs to be Actively Aroused — The 
Climax of Sexual Energy Falls Later in Women's Lives than in Men's 
— Sexual Ardor in Women Increased After the Establishment of Sexual 
Relationships — Women bear Sexual Excesses better than Men — The Sex- 
ual Sphere Larger and More Diffused in Women — The Sexual Impulse 
in Women Shoves a Greater Tendency to Periodicity and a Wider Range 
of Variation. 

So far I have been discussing the question of the sexual 
impulse in women on the ground upon which previous writers 
have usually placed it. The question, that is, has usually pre- 
sented itself to them as one concerning the relative strength of 
the impulse in men and women. When so considered, not 
hastily and with prepossession, as is too often the case, but 
with a genuine desire to get at the real facts in all their as- 
pects, there is no reason, as we have seen, to conclude that, on 
the whole, the sexual impulse in women is lacking in strength. 

But we have to push our investigation of the matter fur- 
ther. In reality, the question as to whether the sexual impulse 
is or is not stronger in one sex than in the other is a some- 
what crude one. To put the question in that form is to reveal 
ignorance of the real facts of the matter. And in that form, 
moreover, no really definite and satisfactory answer can be given. 

It is necessary to put the matter on different ground. In- 
stead of taking more or less insolvable questions as to the 
strength of the sexual impulse in the two sexes, it is more 
profitable to consider its differences. What are the special char- 
acters of the sexual impulse in women ? 

There is certainly one purely natural sexual difference of 
a fundamental character, which lies at the basis of whatever 
truth may be in the assertion that women are not susceptible 


of sexual emotion. As may be seen when considering the phe- 
nomena of modesty, the part played by the female in court- 
ship throughout nature is usually different from that played 
by the male, and is, in some respects, a more difficult and com- 
plex part. Except when the male fails to play his part prop- 
erly, she is usually comparatively passive; in the proper playing 
of her part she has to appear to shun the male, to flee from his 
approaches — even actually to repel them. 1 

Courtship resembles very closely, indeed, a drama or game ; 
and the aggressiveness of the male, the coyness of the female, 
are alike unconsciously assumed in order to bring about in the 
most effectual manner the ultimate union of the sexes. The 
seeming reluctance of the female is not intended to inhibit sexual 
activity either in the male or in herself, but to increase it in 
both. The passivity of the female, therefore, is not a real, but 
only an apparent, passivity, and this holds true of our own 
species as much as of the lower animals. "Women are like 
delicately adjusted alembics," said a seventeenth-century author. 
"No fire can be seen outside, but if you look underneath the 
alembic, if you place your hand on the hearts of women, in both 
places you will find a great furnace." 2 Or, as Marro has finely 
put it, the passivity of women in love is the passivity of the 
magnet, which in its apparent immobility is drawing the iron 
toward it. An intense energy lies behind such passivity, an 
absorbed preoccupation in the end to be attained. 

Tarde, when exercising magistrate's functions, once had to 
inquire into a case in which a young man was accused of murder. 
In questioning a girl of 18, a shepherdess, who appeared before 
him as a witness, she told him that on the morning following 
the crime she had seen the footmarks of the accused up to a 
certain point. He asked how she recognized them, and she 
replied, ingenuously but with assurance, that she could recognize 
the footprints of every young man in the neighborhood, even in 

1 Ovid remarks ( Ars Amatoria, bk. i ) that, if men were silent, 
women would take the active and suppliant part. 

2 Ferrand, De la Maladie d' 'Amour, 1623, eh. ii. 


a plowed field. 1 Xo better illustration could be given of the 
real significance of the sexual passivity of women, even at its 
most negative point. 

"The women I have known," a correspondent writes, "do not ex- 
press their sensations and feelings as much as I do. Xor have I found 
women usually anxious to practise 'luxuries.' They seldom care to 
practice fellatio; I have only known one woman who offered to do fellatio 
heeause she liked it. Xor do they generally care to masturbate a man ; 
that is, they do not care greatly to enjoy the contemplation of the 
other person's excitement. (To me, to see the woman excited means 
almost more than my own pleasure.) They usually resist cunnilinctus, 
although they enjoy it. They do not seem to care to touch or look at a 
man's parts so much as he does at theirs. And they seem to dislike the 
tongue-kiss unless they feel very sexual or really love a man." Jly 
correspondent admits that his relationships have been numerous and 
facile, while his erotic demands tend also to deviate from the normal 
path. Under such circumstances, which not uncommonly occur, the 
woman's passions fail to be deeply stirred, and she retains her normal 
attitude of relative passivity. 

It is owing to the fact that the sexual passivity of women is only 
an apparent, and not a, real, passivity that women are apt to suffer, 
as men are, from prolonged sexual abstinence. This, indeed, has been 
denied, but can scarcely be said to admit of doubt. The only question 
is as to the relative amount of such suffering, necessarily a very dif- 
ficult question. As far back as the fourteenth century Johannes de 
Sancto Amando stated that women are more injured than men by 
sexual abstinence. In modern times Maudsley considers that women 
"suffer more than men do from the entire deprivation of sexual inter- 
course" ("Relations between Body and Mind," Lancet, May 28, 1870). 
By some it has been held that this cause may produce actual disease. 
Thus, Tilt, an eminent gynecologist of the middle of the nineteenth 
century, in discussing this question, wrote: "When we consider how 
much of the lifetime of woman is occupied by the various phases of the 
generative process, and how terrible is often the conflict within her 
between the impulse of passion and the dictates of duty, it may be well 
understood how such a conflict reacts on the organs of the sexual 
economy in the unimpregnated female, and principally on the ovaria, 

l Tarde, Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle, May 15, 1897. 
Marro, who quotes this observation ( Puberta, p. 467 ; in French edition, 
p. 61), remarks that his own evidence lends some support to Lombroso's 
conclusion that under ordinary circumstances woman's sensory aeuteness 
is less than that of man. He is, however, inclined to impute this to de- 
fective attention; within the sexual sphere women's attention becomes 
concentrated, and their sensory perceptions then go far beyond those 
of men. There is probably considerable truth in this subtle observation. 


causing an orgasm, which, if often repeated, may possibly be productive 
of subacute ovaritis." (Tilt, On Uterine and Ovarian Inflammation, 
1862, pp. 309-310.) Long before Tilt, Haller, it seems, had said that 
women are especially liable to suffer from privation of sexual inter- 
course to which they have been accustomed, and referred to chlorosis, 
hysteria, nymphomania, and simple mania curable by intercourse. 
Hegar considers that in women an injurious result follows the non- 
satisfaction of the sexual impulse and of the "ideal feelings," and that 
symptoms thus arise (pallor, loss of flesh, cardialgia, malaise, sleepless- 
ness, disturbances of menstruation) which are diagnosed as "chlorosis." 
(Hegar, Zttsammenhang der Geschlechtskrankheiten mit nervosen Leiden, 
1885, p. 45.) Freud, as well as Gattel, has found that states of anxiety 
{Angstzustande) are caused by sexual abstinence. Lowenfeld, on careful 
examination of his own cases, is able to confirm this connection in both 
sexes. He has specially noticed it in young women who marry elderly 
husbands. Lowenfeld believes, however, that, on the whole, healthy 
unmarried women bear sexual abstinence better than men. If, how- 
ever, they are of at all neuropathic disposition, ungratified sexual emo- 
tions may easily lead to various morbid conditions, especially of a 
hysteroneurasthenie character. (Lowenfeld, Seosualleoen und Nerven- 
leiden, second edition, 1899, pp. 44, 47, 54-60.) Balls-Headley considers 
that unsatisfied sexual desires in women may lead to the following 
conditions: general atrophy, anemia, neuralgia and hysteria, irregular 
menstruation, leueorrhea, atrophy of sexual organs. He also refers to 
the frequency of myoma of the uterus among those who have not be- 
come pregnant or who have long ceased to bear children. (Balls- 
Headley, art. "Etiology of Diseases of Female Genital Organs," Allbutt 
and Playfair, System of Gynaecology, 1896, p. 141.) It cannot, however, 
be said that he brings forward substantial evidence in favor of these 
beliefs. It may be added that in America, during recent years, leading 
gynecologists have recorded a number of cases in which widows on 
remarriage have shown marked improvement in uterine and pelvic 

The question as to whether men or women suffer most from sexual 
abstinence, as well as the question whether definite morbid conditions 
are produced by such abstinence, remains, however, an obscure and 
debated problem. The available data do not enable us to answer it 
decisively. It is one of those subtle and complex questions which can 
only be investigated properly by a gynecologist who is also a psycholo- 
gist. Incidentally, however, we have met and shall have occasion to 
meet with evidence bearing on this question. It is sufficient to say 
here, briefly, that it is impossible to believe, even if no evidence were 
forthcoming, that the exercise or non-exercise of so vastly important a 


function can make no difference to the organism generally. So far as 
the evidence goes, it may be said to indicate that the results of the 
abeyance of the sexual functions in healthy women in whom the sexual 
emotions have never been definitely aroused tend to be diffused and 
unconscious, as the sexual impulse itself often is, but that, in women in 
whom the sexual emotions have been definitely aroused and gratified, 
the results of sexual abstinence tend to be acute and conscious. 

These acute results are at the present day very often due to 
premature ejaculation by nervous or neurasthenic husbands, the rapidity 
with which detumescence is reached in the husband allowing insufficient 
time for tumescence in the wife, who consequently fails to reach the 
orgasm. This has of late been frequently pointed out. Thus Kafemann 
(Sexual-Probleme, March, 1910, p. 194 et seq.) emphasizes the preva- 
lence of sexual incompetence in men. Ferenczi, of Budapest (Zentralblatt 
fur Psychoanalyse, 1910, lit. 1 and 2, p. 75), believes that the combination 
of neurasthenic husbands with resultantly nervous wives is extraor- 
dinarily common; even putting aside the neurasthenic, he considers it 
may be said that the whole male sex in relation to women suffer from 
precocious ejaculation. He adds that it is often difficult to say whether 
the lack of harmony may not be due to retarded orgasm in the woman. 
He regards the influence of masturbation in early life as tending to 
quicken orgasm in man, while when practised by the other sex it tends 
to slow orgasm, and thus increases the disharmony. He holds, however, 
that the chief cause lies in the education of women with its emphasis 
on sexual repression; this works too well and the result is that when 
the external impediments to the sexual impulse are removed the impulse 
has become incapable of normal action. Porosz (British Medical Journal, 
April 1, 1911) has brought forward cases of serious nervous trouble in 
women which have been dispersed when the sexual weakness and 
premature ejaculation of the husband have been cured. 

The true nature of the passivity of the female is revealed 
by the ease with which it is thrown off, more especially when 
the male refuses to accept his cue. Or, if we prefer to accept 
the analogy of a game, we may say that in the play of courtship 
the first move belongs to the male, but that, if he fails to play, 
it is then the female's turn to play. 

Among many birds the males at mating time fall into a state of 
sexual frenzy, but not the females. "I cannot call to mind a single 
case," states an authority on birds (H. E. Howard, Zoologist, 1902, p. 
146), "where I have seen anything approaching frenzy in the female 
of any species while mating." 


Another great authority on birds, a very patient and skillful 
observer, Mr. Edmund Selous, remarks, however, in describing the 
courting habits of the ruffs and reeves (Machetes pugiuix) that, notwith- 
standing the passivity of the females beforehand, their movements 
during and after coitus show that they derive at least as much pleasure 
as the males. (E. Selous, "Selection in Birds,'' Zoologist, Feb. and 
May, 1907.) 

The same observer, after speaking of the great beauty of the male 
eider duck, continues: "These glorified males — there were a dozen of 
these, perhaps, to some six or seven females — swam closely about the 
latter, but more in attendance upon them than as actively pursuing 
them, for the females seemed themselves almost as active agents in the 
sport of being wooed as were their lovers in wooing them. The male 
bird 'first dipped down his head till his beak just touched the water, then 
raised it again in a constrained and tense manner, — the curious rigid 
action so frequent in the nuptial antics of birds, — at the same time 
uttering his strange haunting note. The air became filled with it; every 
moment one or other of the birds — sometimes several together — with 
upturned bill would softly laugh or exclaim, and while the males did 
this, the females, turning excitedly, and with little eager demonstrations 
from one to another of them, kept lowering and extending forward the 
head and neck in the direction of each in turn. . . I noticed that 

a female would often approach a male bird with her head and neck laid 
flat along the water as though in a very 'coming on' disposition, and 
that the male bird declined her advances. This, taken in conjunction 
with the actions of the female when courted by the male, appears to me 
to raise a doubt as to the universal application of the law that through- 
out nature the male, in courtship, is eager, and the female coy. Here, 
to all appearances, courtship was proceeding, and the birds had not 
yet mated. The female eider ducks, however, — at any rate, some of 
them, — appeared to be anything but coy." (Bird Watching, pp. 144-146.) 
Among moor-hens and great-crested grebes sometimes what Selous 
terms "functional hermaphroditism" occurs and the females play the 
part of the male toward their male companions, and then repeat the 
sexual act with a reversion to the normal order, the whole to the 
satisfaction of both parties. (E. Selous, Zoologist, 1902, p. 196.) 

It is not only among birds that the female sometimes takes the 
active part, but also among mammals. Among white rats, for instance, 
the males are exceptionally eager. Steinach, who has made many 
valuable experiments on these animals (Archiv fiir die Gesammte 
Physiologie, Bd. lvi, 1894, p. 319), tells us that, when a female white 
rat is introduced into the cage of a male, he at once leaves off eating, 
or whatever else he may be doing, becomes indifferent to noises or any 


other source of distraction, and devotes himself entirely to her. If, 
however, he is introduced into her cage the new environment renders him 
nervous and suspicious, and then it is she who takes the active part, 
trying to attract him in every way. The impetuosity during heat of 
female animals of various species, when at length admitted to the 
male, is indeed well known to all who are familiar with animals. 

I have referred to the frequency with which, in the human species, 
— and very markedly in early adolescence, when the sexual impulse is in 
a high degree unconscious and unrestrainedly instinctive, — similar mani- 
festations may often be noted. We have to recognize that they are not 
necessarily abnormal and still less pathological. They merely represent 
the unseasonable apparition of a tendency which in due subordina- 
tion is implied in the phases of courtship throughout the animal world. 
Among some peoples and in some stages of culture, tending to withdraw 
the men from women and the thought of women, this phase of court- 
ship and this attitude assume a prominence which is absolutely normal. 
The literature of the Middle Ages presents a state of society in which 
men were devoted to war and to warlike sports, while the women took 
the more active part in love-making. The medieval poets represent 
women as actively encouraging backward lovers, and as delighting to 
offer to great heroes the chastity they had preserved, sometimes entering 
their bed-chambers at night. Schultz (Das Hbfische Leben, Bd. i, pp. 
594-598) considers that these representations are not exaggerated. Of. 
Krabbes, Die Frau im A'Otf ' ransosischen Karls-Epos, 1884, p. 20 et seq.; 
and II. A. Potter, Hohrab and Rustem, 1902, pp. 152-163. 

Among savages and barbarous races in various parts of the world 
it is the recognized custom, reversing the more usual method, for the 
girl to take the initiative in courtship. This is especially so in New 
Guinea. Here the girls almost invariably take the initiative, and in 
consequence hold a very independent position. Women are always re- 
garded as the seducers: ''Women steal men." A youth who proposed 
to a girl would be making himself ridiculous, would be called a woman, 
and be laughed at by the girls. The usual method by which a girl 
proposes is to send a present to the youth by a third party, following 
this up by repeated gifts of food; the young man sometimes waits a 
month or two, receiving presents all the time, in order to assure him- 
self of the girl's constancy before decisively accepting her advances. 
(A. C. Haddon, Cambridge Expedition to Torres Straits, vol. v, ch. 
viii; id., "Western Tribes of Torres Straits," Journal of the Anthro- 
pological Institute, vol. xix, February, 1890, pp. 314, 356, 394, 395, 411, 
413; id., Head Hunters, pp. 158-164; R. E. Guise, "Tribes of the 
Wanigela River," Journal of the Anthropological Institute, new series, 
vol. i, February-Hay, 1899, p. 209.) Westermarck gives instances of 


races among whom the women take the initiative in courtship. (His- 
tory of Marriage, p. 158; so also Finck, Primitive Love and Love-stories, 
1899, p. 109 et seq.; and as regards Celtic women, see Rhys and Brynmor 
Jones, The Welsh People. ) 

There is another characteristic of great significance by 
which the sexual impulse in women differs from that in men : 
the widely unlike character of the physical mechanism involved 
in the process of coitus. Considering how obvious this difference 
is, it is strange that its fundamental importance should so often 
be underrated. In man the process of tumescence and detumes- 
cence is simple. In women it is complex. In man we have the 
more or less spontaneously erectile penis, which needs but very 
simple conditions to secure the ejaculation which brings relief. 
In women we have in the clitoris a corresponding apparatus on a 
small scale, but behind this has developed a much more extensive 
mechanism, which also demands satisfaction, and requires for 
that satisfaction the presence of various conditions that are al- 
most antagonistic. Naturally the more complex mechanism is 
the more easily disturbed. It is the difference, roughly speaking, 
between a lock and a key. This analogy is far from indicating 
all the difficulties involved. We have to imagine a lock that not 
only requires a key to fit it, but should only be entered at the 
right moment, and, under the best conditions, may only become 
adjusted to the key by considerable use. The fact that the man 
takes the more active part in coitus has increased these difficul- 
ties; the woman is too often taught to believe that the whole 
function is low and impure, only to be submitted to at her 
husband's will and for his sake, and the man has no proper 
knowledge of the mechanism involved and the best way of dealing 
with it. The grossest brutality thus may be, and not infrequently 
is, exercised in all innocence by an ignorant husband who simply 
believes that he is performing his "marital duties." For a 
woman to exercise this physical brutality on a man is with diffi- 
culty possible; a man's pleasurable excitement is usually the 
necessary condition of the woman's sexual gratification. But the 
reverse is not the case, and, if the man is sufficiently ignorant or 


sufficiently coarse-grained to be satisfied with the woman's sub- 
mission, he may easily become to her, in all innocence, a cause 
of torture. 

To the man coitus must be in some slight degree pleasurable 
or it cannot take place at all. To the woman the same act which,, 
under some circumstances, in the desire it arouses and the satis- 
faction it imparts, will cause the whole universe to shrivel into 
nothingness, under other circumstances will be a source of 
anguish, physical and mental. This is so to some extent even in 
the presence of the right and fit man. There can be no doubt 
whatever that the mucus which is so profusely poured out over 
the external sexual organs in woman during the excitement of 
sexual desire has for its end the lubrication of the parts and the 
facilitation of the passage of the intromittent organ. The most 
casual inspection of the cold, contracted, dry vulva in its usual 
aspect and the same when distended, hot, and moist suffices to 
show which condition is and which is not that ready for inter- 
course, and imtil the proper condition is reached it is certain 
that coitus should not be attempted. 

The varying sensitiveness of the female parts again offers 
difficulties. Sexual relations in women are, at the onset, almost 
inevitably painful ; and to some extent the same experience may 
be repeated at every act of coitus. Ordinary tactile sensibility 
in the female genitourinary region is notably obtuse, but at the 
beginning of the sexual act there is normally a hyperesthesia 
which may be painful or pleasurable as excitement culminates, 
passing into a seeming anesthesia, which even craves for rough 
contact; so that in sexual excitement a woman normally dis- 
plays in quick succession that same quality of sensibility to super- 
ficial pressure and insensibility to deep pressure which the 
hysterical woman exhibits simultaneously. 

Thus we see that a highly important practical result fol- 
lows from the greater complexity of the sexual apparatus in 
women and the greater difficulty with which it is aroused. In 
coitus the orgasm tends to occur more slowly in women than 
in men. It may easily happen that the whole process of de- 


tumescence is completed in the man before it lias begun in his 
partner, who is left either cold or unsatisfied. This is one of the 
respects in which women remain nearer than men to the primi- 
tive stage of humanity. 

In the Hippocratie treatise, Of Generation, it is stated that, while 
woman has less pleasure in coitus than man, her pleasure lasts longer. 
(CEuvies d'Hippocrate, edition Littre, vol. vii, p. 477.) 

Beaunis considers that the slower development of the orgasm in 
women is the only essential difference in the sexual process in men 
and women. (Beaunis, Les Sensations Internes, 1889, p. 151.) This 
characteristic of the sexual impulse in women, though recognized for 
so long a, period, is still far too often ignored or unknown. There is 
even a superstition that injurious results may follow if the male orgasm 
is not effected as rapidly as possible. That this is not so is shown by 
the experiences of the Oneida community in America, who in their 
system of sexual relationship carried prolonged intercourse without 
ejaculation to an extreme degree. There can be no doubt whatever 
that very prolonged intercourse gives the maximum amount of pleasure 
and relief to the woman. Not only is this the very decided opinion of 
women who have experienced it, but it is also indicated by the well- 
recognized fact that a woman who repeats the sexual act several times 
in succession often experiences more intense orgasm and pleasure with 
each repetition. 

This point is much better understood in the East than in the West. 
The prolongation of the man's excitement, in order to give the woman 
time for orgasm, is, remarks Sir Richard Burton (Arabian Nights, vol. 
v, p. 76), much studied by Moslems, as also by Hindoos, who, on this 
account, during the orgasm seek to avoid overtension of muscles and 
to preoccupy the brain. During coitus they will drink sherbet, chew 
hetel-nut, and even smoke. Europeans devote no care to this matter, 
and Hindoo women, who require about twenty minutes to complete the 
act, contemptuously call them "village cocks." I have received confirma- 
tion of Burton's statements on this point from medical correspondents 
in India. 

While the European desires to perform as many acts of coitus in 
one night as possible, Breitenstein remarks, the Malay, as still more the 
Javanese, wishes, not to repeat the act many times, but to prolong 
,it. His aim is to remain in the vagina for about a quarter of an hour. 
Unlike the European, also, he boasts of the pleasure he has given his 
partner far more than of his own pleasure. (Breitenstein, 21 Jahre 
in India, theil i, "Borneo," p. 228.) 

Jager (Entdeckung der Steele, second edition, vol. i, 1884, p. 203), 
as quoted by Moll, explains the preference of some women for castrated 


men as due, not merely to the absence of risk of impregnation, but to 
the prolonged erections that take place in the castrated. Aly-Belfadel 
remarks (Archivio di Psichiatria, 1903, p. 117) that he knows women 
who prefer old men in coitus simply because of their delay in ejaculation 
which allows more time to the women to become excited. 

A Russian correspondent living in Italy informs me that a 
Neapolitan girl of 17, who had only recently ceased to be a virgin, ex- 
plained to him that she preferred coitus in ore vuJvc to real intercourse 
because the latter was over before she had time to obtain the orgasm 
(or, as she put it, "the big bird has fled from the cage and I am left in 
the lurch"), while in the other way she was able to experience the 
orgasm twice before her partner reached the climax. "This reminds 
me," my correspondent continues, "that a llilanese cocotte once told me 
that she much liked intercourse with Jews because, on account of the 
circumcised penis being less sensitive to contact, they ejaculate more 
slowly then Christians. 'With Christians,' she said, 'it constantly hap- 
pens that I am left unsatisfied because they ejaculate before me, while 
in coitus with Jews I sometimes ejaculate twice before the orgasm 
occurs in ray partner, or, rather, I hold back the second orgasm until he 
is ready.' This is confirmed," my correspondent continues, "by what I 
was told by a Russian Jew, a student at the Zurich Polytechnic, who 
had a Russian comrade living with a, mistress, also a. Russian student, 
or pseudostudent. One day the Jew, going early to see his friend, was 
told to enter by a woman's voice and found his friend's mistress alone 
and in her chemise beside the bed. He was about to retire, but the 
young woman bade him stay and in a few minutes he was in bed with 
her. She told him that her lover had just gone away and that she 
never had sexual relief with him because he always ejaculated too 
soon. That morning he had left her so excited and so unrelieved that 
she was just about to masturbate — which she rarely did because it 
gave her headache — when she heard the Jew's voice, and, knowing that 
Jews are slower in coitus than Christians, she had suddenly resolved to 
give herself to him." 

I am informed that the sexual power of negroes and slower 
ejaculation (see Appendix A) are the cause of the favor with which 
they are viewed by some white women of strong sexual passions in 
America, and by many prostitutes. At one time there was a special 
house in Xew York City to which white women resorted for these "buck 
lovers"; the women came heavily veiled and would inspect the penises 
of the men before making their selection. 

It is thus a result of the complexity of the sexual mech- 
anism in women that the whole attitude of a woman toward 


the sexual relationship is liable to be affected disastrously by 
the husband's lack of skill or consideration in initiating her 
into this intimate mystery. Normally the stage of apparent 
repulsion and passivity, often associated with great sensitive- 
ness, physical and moral, passes into one of active participation 
and aid in the consummation of the sexual act. But if, from 
whatever cause, there is partial arrest on the woman's side of 
this evolution in the process of courtship, if her submission is 
merely a mental and deliberate act of will, and not an instinct- 
ive and impulsive participation, there is a necessary failure of 
sexual relief and gratification. When we find that a woman 
displays a certain degree of indifference in sexual relationships, 
and a failure of complete gratification, we have to recognize that 
the fault may possibly lie, not in her, but in the defective skill of 
a lover who has not known how to play successfully the complex 
and subtle game of courtship. Sexual coldness due to the shock 
and suffering of the wedding-night is a phenomenon that is far 
too frequent. 1 Hence it is that many women may never experi- 
ence sexual gratification and relief, through no defect on their 
part, but through the failure of the husband to understand the 
lover's part. We make a false analogy when we compare the 
courtship of animals exclusively with our own courtships before 
marriage. Courtship, properly understood, is the process whereby 
both the male and the female are brought into that state of 
sexual tumescence which is a more or less necessary condition 
for sexual intercourse. The play of courtship cannot, therefore, 
be considered to be definitely brought to an end by the ceremony 
of marriage; it may more properly be regarded as the natural 
preliminary to every act of coitus. 

Tumescence is not merely a more or less essential condition for 
proper sexual intercourse. It is probably of more fundamental sig- 
nificance as one of the favoring conditions of impregnation. This has, 

l A well-known gynecologist writes from America : "Abhorrence 
due to suffering on first nights I have repeatedly seen. One very marked 
case is that of a fine womanly young woman with splendid figure; she 
is a very good woman, and admires her husband, but, though she tries 
to develop desire and passion, she cannot succeed. I fear the man will 
some day appear who will be able to develop the latent feelings." 


indeed, been long recognized. Tan Swieten, when consulted by the 
childless Maria Theresa, gave the opinion "Ego vero censeo, vulvam 
SacratissimiE Majestatis ante coituni diutius esse titillandam," and 
thereafter she had many children. "I think it very nearly certain," 
Matthews Duncan wrote {Goulstonian on Sterility in Woman, 
1SS4, p. 96), "that desire and pleasure in due or moderate degree are 
very important aids to, or predisposing causes of, fecundity,'' as bringing 
into action the complicated processes of fecundation. Hirst (Text-book 
of Obstetrics, 1S99, p. 67) mentions the case of a childless married 
woman who for six years had had no orgasm during intercourse; then it 
occurred at the same time as coitus, and pregnancy resulted. 

Kisch is very decidedly of the same opinion, and considers that 
the popular belief on this point is fully justified. It is a fact, he states, 
that an unfaithful wife is more likely to conceive with her lover than 
with her husband, and he concludes that, whatever the precise mech- 
anism may be, "sexual excitement on the woman's part is a necessary 
link in the chain of conditions producing impregnation." (E. H. Kisch, 
Die Sterilitat des Weibes, 1886, p. 99.) Kisch believes (p. 103) that in 
the majority of women sexual pleasure only appears gradually, after 
the first cohabitation, and then develops progressively, and that the 
first conception usually coincides with its complete awakening. In 556 
cases of his own the most frequent epoch of first impregnation was 
found to be between ten and fifteen months after marriage. 

The removal of sexual frigidity thus becomes a matter of some 
importance. This removal may in some cases be effected by treatment 
through the husband, but that course is not always practicable. Dr. 
Douglas Bryan, of Leicester, informs me that in several cases he has 
succeeded in removing sexual coldness and physical aversion in the 
wife by hypnotic suggestion. The suggestions given to the patient are 
"that all her womanly natural feelings would be quickly and satisfac- 
torily developed during coitus; that she would experience no feeling of 
disgust and nausea, would have no fear of the orgasm not developing; 
that there would be no involuntary resistance on her part." The fact 
that such suggestions can be permanently effective tends to show how 
superficial the sexual "anesthesia" of women usually is. 

Xot only, therefore, is the apparatus of sexual excitement 
in women more complex than in men, but — in part, possibly as 
a result of this greater complexity — it much more frequently 
requires to be actively aroused. In men tumescence tends to oc- 
cur almost spontaneously, or under the simple influence of ac- 
cumulated semen. In women, also, especially in those who live 


a natural and healthy life, sexual excitement also tends to occur 
spontaneously, but by no means so frequently as in men. The 
comparative rarity of sexual dreams in women who have not 
had sexual relationships alone serves to indicate this sexual 
difference. In a very large number of women the sexual impulse 
remains latent until aroused by a lover's caresses. The youth 
spontaneously becomes a man; but the maiden — as it has been 
said — -"must be kissed into a woman." 

One result of this characteristic is that, more especially 
when love is unduly delaj'ed beyond the first youth, this com- 
plex apparatus has difficulty in responding to the unfamiliar 
demands of sexual excitement. Moreover, delayed normal sexual 
relations, when the sexual impulse is not absolutely latent, tend to 
induce all degrees of perverted or abnormal sexual gratification, 
and the physical mechanism when trained to respond in other 
ways often fails to respond normally when, at last, the normal 
conditions of response are presented. In all these ways passivity 
and even aversion may be produced in the conjugal relationship. 
The fact that it is almost normally the function of the male to 
arouse the female, and that the greater complexity of the sexual 
mechanism in women leads to more frequent disturbance of that 
mechanism, produces a simulation of organic sexual coldness 
which has deceived many. 

An instructive study of cases in which the sexual impulse has been 
thus perverted has been presented by Smith Baker ( "The Neuropsychical. 
Element in Conjugal Aversion," Journal of Nervous and Mental Dis- 
ease, vol. xvii, September, 1892). Raymond and Janet, who believes 
that sexual coldness is extremely frequent in marriage, and that it 
plays an important part in the causation of physical and moral 
troubles, find that it is most often due to masturbation. (Les Obses- 
sions, vol. ii, p. 307.) Adler, after discussing the complexity of the 
feminine sexual mechanism, and the difficulty which women find in ob- 
taining sexual gratification in normal coitus, concludes that "masturba- 
tion is a frequent, perhaps the most frequent, cause of defective sexual 
sensibility in women." (Op. cit., p. 119.) He remarks that in women 
masturbation usually has less resemblance to normal coitus than in 
men and involves very frequently the special excitation of parts which 
are not the chief focus of excitement in coitus, so that coitus fails 



to supply the excitation which has become habitual (pp. 113-116). In 
the discussion of ''Auto-erotism" in the first volume of these Studies, I 
had already referred to the divorce between the physical and the ideal 
sides of love which may, especially in women, be induced by mas- 

Another cause of inhibited sexual feeling has been brought for- 
ward. A married lady with normal sexual impulse states (Sexual- 
ProUeme, April, 1912, p. 290) that she cannot experience orgasm and 
sexual satisfaction when the intercourse is not for conception. This is 
a psychic inhibition independent of any disturbance due to the process 
of prevention. She knows other women who are similarly affected. Such 
an inhibition must be regarded as artificial and abnormal, since the 
final result of sexual intercourse, under natural and normal conditions, 
forms no essential constituent of the psychic process of intercourse. 

As a result of the fact that in women the sexual emotions 
tend not to develop great intensity until submitted to powerful 
stimulation, we find that the maximum climax of sexual emotion 
tends to fall somewhat later in a woman's life than in a man's. 
Among animals generally there appears to be frequently traceable 
a tendency for the sexual activities of the male to develop at a 
somewhat earlier age than those of the female. In the human 
species we may certainly trace the same tendency. As the great 
physiologist, Burdach, pointed out, throughout nature, with the 
accomplishment of the sexual act the part of the male in the' 
work of generation comes to an end; but that act represents 
only the beginning of a woman's generative activity. 

A youth of 20 may often display a passionate ardor in love 
which is very seldom indeed found in women who are under 25. 
It is rare for a woman, even though her sexual emotions may 
awaken at puberty or earlier, to experience the great passion of 
her life until after the age of 25 has been passed. In confirmation 
of this statement, which is supported by daily observation, it 
may be pointed out that nearly all the most passionate love- 
letters of women, as well as their most passionate devotions, have 
come from women who had passed, sometimes long passed, their 
first youth. When Heloise wrote to Abelard the first of the 
letters which have come down to us she was at least 32. Made- 
moiselle Aisse's relation with the Chevalier began when she was 


32, and when she died, six years later, the passion of each was at 
its height. Mary Wollstonecraft was 34 when her love-letters to 
Imlay began, and her child was bom in the following year. 
Mademoiselle de Lespinasse was 43 when she began to write her 
letters to M. de Guibert. In some cases the sexual impulse may 
not even appear until after the period of the menopause has been 
passed. 1 

In Roman times Ovid remarked (Ars Amatoria, lib. ii) that a 
woman fails to understand the art of love until she has reached the 
age of 35. "A girl of 18," said Stendhal (De I' Amour, ch. viii), "has 
not the power to crystallize her emotions; she forms desires that are 
too limited by her lack of experience in the things of life, to be able to 
love with such passion as a woman of 28." "Sexual needs,'' said 
Restif de la Bretonne (Monsieur Kicolas, vol. xi, p. 221), "often only 
appears in young women when they are between 26 and 27 years of age;, 
at least, that is what I have observed." 

Erb states that it is about the middle of the twenties that women 
begin to suffer physically, morally, and intellectually from their 
sexual needs. Nystrom (Das Geschlechtsleben, p. 163) considers that 
it is about the age of 30 that a woman first begins to feel conscious of 
sex needs. In a case of Adler's (op. cit., p. 141), sexual feelings first 
appeared after the birth of the third child, at the age of 30. Forel 
(Die Sexuelle Frage, 1906, p. 219) considers that sexual desire in 
woman is often strongest between the ages of 30 and 40. Leith 
Napier (Menopause, p. 94) remarks that from 28 to 30 is often an 
important age in woman who have retained their virginity, erotism 
then appearing with the full maturity of the nervous system. Yellow- 
lees (art. "Masturbation," Dictionary of Psychological Medicine), again, 
states that at about the age of 33 some women experience great 
sexual irritability, often resulting in masturbation. Audiffrent 
(Archives d'Anthropologie Criminelle, Jan. 15, 1902, p. 3) considers 
that it is toward the age of 30 that a woman reaches her full moral 
and physical development, and that at this period her emotional and 
idealizing impulses reach a degree of intensity which is sometimes 

l It is curious that, while the sexual impulse in women tends to 
develop at a late age more frequently than in men, it would also appear 
to develop more frequently at a very early age than in the other sex. 
The majority of cases of precocious sexual development seems to be 
in female children. W. Roger Williams ("Precocious Sexual Develop- 
ment," British Gynaecological Jowrnal, May, 1902) finds that 80 such 
cases have been recorded in females and only 20 in males, and, while 13 
is the earliest age at which boys have proved virile, girls have been 
known to conceive at 8. 


irresistible. It has already been mentioned that Matthews Duncan's 
careful inquiries showed that it is between the ages of 30 and 34 that 
the largest proportion of women experience sexual desire and sexual 
pleasure. It may be remarked, also, that while the typical English 
novelists, who have generally sought to avoid touching the deeper and 
more complex aspects of passion, often choose very youthful heroines, 
French novelists, who have frequently had a predilection for the problems 
of passion, often choose heroines who are approaching the age of 30. 

Hirsehfeld (Von Wesen der Liebe, p. 26) was consulted by a lady 
who, being without any sexual desires or feelings, married an inverted 
man in order to live with him a life of simple comradeship. Within 
six months, however, she fell violently in love with her husband, with 
the full manifestation of sexual feelings and accompanying emotions 
of jealousy. Under all the circumstances, however, she would not enter 
into sexual relationship with her husband, and the torture she en- 
dured became so aeute that she desired to be castrated. In this connec- 
tion, also, I may mention a case, which has been communicated to me 
from Glasgow, of a girl — strong and healthy and menstruating regularly 
since the age of 17 — who was seduced at the age of 20 without any 
sexual desire on her part, giving birth to a child nine months later. 
Subsequently she became a prostitute for three years, and during this 
period had not the slightest sexual desire or any pleasure in sexual 
connection. Thereafter she met a poor lad with whom she has full 
sexual desire and sexual pleasure, the result being that she refuses to 
go with any other man, and consequently is almost without food for 
several days every week. 

The late appearance of the great climax of sexual emotion in 
women is indicated by a tendency to nervous and psychic disturbances 
between the ages of 25 and about 33, which has been independently 
noted by various alienists (^though it may be noted that 25 to 30 is 
not an unusual age for first attacks of insanity in men also ) . Thus, 
Krafft-Ebing states that adult unmarried women between the ages of 

25 and 30 often show nervous symptoms and peculiarities. (Krafft- 
Ebing, "Ueber Xeurosen und Psychosen durch Sexuelle Abstinenz," 
Jahrbiicher fur Psychiatrie, Bd. viii, lit. 1-4, 1888.) Pitres and Regis 
find also (Comptes-rendus XIP Congres International de Hcdecine, 
Moscow, 1897, vol. iv, p. 45) that obsessions, which are commoner in 
women than in men and are commonly connected in their causation 
with strong moral emotion, occur in women chiefly between the ages of 

26 and 30, though in men much earlier. The average age at which in 
England women inebriates begin drinking in excess is 26. (British 
Medical Journal, Sept. 2, 1911, p. 518.) 


A case recorded by Serieux is instructive as regards the develop- 
ment of the sexual impulse, although it comes within the sphere of 
mental disorder. A woman of 32 with bad heredity had in childhood 
had weak health and become shy, silent, and fond of solitude, teased 
by her companions and finding consolation in hard work. Though 
very emotional, she never, even in the vaguest form, experienced any 
of those feelings and aspirations which reveal the presence of the sexual 
impulse. She had no love of dancing and was indifferent to any em- 
braces she might chance to receive from young men. She never mas- 
turbated or showed inverted feelings. At the age of 23 she married. 
She still, however, experienced no sexual feelings; twice only she felt 
a faint sensation of pleasure. A child was born, but her home was 
unhappy on account of her husband's drunken habits. He died and she 
worked hard for her own living and the support of her mother. Then 
at the age of 31 a new phase occurs in her life: she falls in love with 
the master of her workshop. It was at first a purely psychic affection, 
without any mixture of physical elements; it was enough to see him, 
and she trembled when she touched anything that belonged to him. 
She was constantly thinking about him; she loved him for his eyes, 
which seemed to her those of her own child, and especially for his in- 
telligence. Gradually, however, the lower nervous centers began to take 
part in these emotions; one day in passing her the master chanced to 
touch her shoulder; this contact was sufficient to produce sexual tumes- 
cence. She began to masturbate daily, thinking of her master, and for 
the first time in her life she desired coitus. She evoked the image of 
her master so constantly and vividly that at last hallucinations of 
sight, touch, and hearing appeared, and it seemed to her that he wa3 
present. These hallucinations were only with difficulty dissipated. (P. 
Serieux, Les Anomalies de Vlnstinct Sexuel, 1888, p. 50.) This case 
presents in an insane form a phenomenon which is certainly by no 
means uncommon and is very significant. Up to the age of 31 we 
should certainly have been forced to conclude that this woman was 
sexually anesthetic to an almost absolute degree. In reality, we see 
this was by no means the ease. Weak health, hard work, and a brutal 
husband had prolonged the latency of the sexual emotions; but they 
were there, ready to explode with even insane intensity (this being due 
to the unsound heredity) in the presence of a man who appealed to 
these emotions. 

In connection with the late evolution of the sexual emotions in 
women reference may be made to what is usually termed "old maid's 
insanity," a condition not met with in men. In these cases, which are 
not, indeed, common, single women who have led severely strict and 
virtuous lives, devoting themselves to religious or intellectual work, 


and carefully repressing the animal side of their natures, at last, just 
before the climacteric, experience an awakening of the erotic impulse; 
they fall in love with some unfortunate man, often a clergyman, perse- 
cute him with their attentions, and frequently suffer from the delusion 
that lie reciprocates their affections. 

When once duly aroused, there cannot usually be any doubt 
concerning the strength of the sexual impulse in normal and 
healthy women. There would, however, appear to be a distinct 
difference between the sexes at this point also. Before sexual 
union the male tends to be more ardent; after sexual union it is 
the female who tends to be more ardent. The sexual energy of 
women, under these circumstances, would seem to be the greater 
on account of the long period during which it has been dormant. 

Sinibaldus in the seventeenth century, in his Geneanthropeia, 
argued that, though women are cold at first, and aroused with more 
difficulty and greater slowness than men, the flame of passion spreads in 
them the more afterward, just as iron is by nature cold, but when 
heated gives a great degree of heat. Similarly Mandeville said of 
women that "their passions are not so easily raised nor so suddenly 
fixed upon any particular object; but when this passion is once rooted 
in women it is much stronger and more durable than in men, and 
rather increases than diminishes by enjoying the person of the beloved." 
(A Modest Defence of Public Stews, 1724, p. 34.) Burdach considered 
that women only acquire the full enjoyment of their general strength 
after marriage and pregnancy, while it is before marriage that men 
have most vigor. Schopenhauer also said that a man's love decreases 
with enjoyment, and a woman's increases. And Ellen Key has remarked 
(Love and Marriage) that "where there is no mixture of Southern 
blood it is a long time, sometimes indeed not till years after marriage, 
that the senses of the Northern women awake to consciousness." 

Even among animals this tendency seems to be manifested. Ed- 
mund Selous {Bird Watching, p. 112) remarks, concerning sea-gulls: 
"Always, or almost always, one of the birds — and this I take to be the 
female — is more eager, has a more soliciting manner and tender begging 
look" than the other. It is she who, as a rule, draws the male bird on. 
She looks fondly up at him, and, raising her bill to his, as though 
beseeching a kiss, just touches with it, in raising, the feathers of the 
throat — an action light, but full of endearment. And in every way she 
shows herself the most desirous, and, in fact, so worries and pesters 
the poor male gull that often, to avoid her importunities, he flies away. 
This may seem odd, but I have seen other instances of it. Xo doubt, 


in actual courting, before the sexes are paired, the male bird is usually 
the most eager, but after marriage the female often becomes the wooer. 
Of this I have seen some marked instances." Selous mentions especially 
the plover, kestrel hawk, and rook. 

In association with the fact that women tend to show an 
increase of sexual ardor after sexual relationships have been 
set up may be noted the probably related fact that sexual in- 
tercourse is undoubtedly less injurious to women than to men. 
Other things being equal, that is to say, the threshold of excess 
is passed very much sooner by the man than by the woman. 
This was long ago pointed out by Montaigne. The ancient say- 
ing, "Omne animal post coitum triste," is of limited application 
at the best, but certainly has little reference to women. 1 
Alacrity, rather than languor, as Eobin has truly observed, 2 
marks a woman after coitus, or, as a medical friend of my own 
has said, a woman then goes about the house singing. 3 It is, 
indeed, only after intercourse with a woman for whom, in reality, 
he feels contempt that a man experiences that revulsion of 
feeling described by Shakespeare (sonnet cxxix). Such a pass- 
age should not be quoted, as it sometimes has been quoted, as 
the representation of a normal phenomenon. But, with equal 
gratification on both sides, it remains true that, while after a 
single coitus the man may experience a not unpleasant lassitude 
and readiness for sleep, this is rarely the case with his partner, 
for whom a single coitus is often but a pleasant stimulus, the 
climax of satisfaction not being reached until a second or sub- 
sequent act of intercourse. "Excess in venery," which, rightly 
or wrongly, is set down as the cause of so many evils in men 
seldom, indeed, appears in connection with women, although in 
every act of venery the woman has taken part. 4 

1 1 find the same remark made by Plazzonus in the seventeentl 

2 Art. "Fecondation,'' Dictionnaire encyclopedique des sciences 

3 This also is an ancient remark, for in the early treatise De 
Secretis Mulierum, once attributed to Michael Scot, it is stated, con- 
cerning the woman who finds pleasure in coitus, "cantat libenter." 

4 It is scarcely necessary to add that prostitutes can furnish little 
evidence one way or the other. Not only may prostitutes refuse to par- 


That women bear sexual excesses better than men was noted by 
Cabanis and other early writers. Alienists frequently refer to the fact 
that women are less liable to be affected by insanity following such 
excesses. (See, e.g., Maudsley, "Relations between Body and ilind," 
Lancet, May 28, 1870; and G. Savage, art. '"Marriage and Insanity" in 
Dictionary of Psychological Medicine.) Trousseau remarked on the fact 
that women are not exhausted by repeated acts of coitus within a short 
period, notwithstanding that the nervous excitement in their ease is as 
great, if not greater, and he considered that this showed that the loss 
of semen is a cause of exhaustion in men. Lowenfeld (Sexualleoen und 
Xei venleiden, pp. 74, 153) states that there cannot be question that the 
nervous system in women is less influenced by the after-effects of coitus 
than in men. Xot only, he remarks, are prostitutes very little liable 
to suffer from nervous overstimulation, and neurasthenia and hysteria 
when occurring in them be easily traceable to other causes, but "healthy 
women who are not given to prostitution, when they indulge in very 
frequent sexual intercourse, provided it is practised normally, do not 
experience the slightest injurious effect. I have seen many young 
married couples where the husband had been reduced to a pitiable con- 
dition of nervous prostration and general discomfort by the zeal with 
which he had exercised his marital duties, while the wife had been 
benefited and was in the uninterrupted enjoyment of the best health." 
This experience is by no means uncommon. 

A correspondent writes: "It is quite true that the threshold of 
excess is less easily reached by women than by men. I have found that 
women can reach the orgasm much more frequently than men. Take 

an ordinary case. I spend two hours with . I have the orgasm 

3 times, with difficulty; she has it 6 or 8, or even 10 or 12, times. 
Women can also experience it a second or third time in succession, with 
no interval between. Sometimes the mere fact of realizing that the 
man is having the orgasm causes the woman to have it also, though 
it is true that a woman usually requires as many minutes to develop 
the orgasm as a. man does seconds." I may also refer to the case 
recorded in another part of this volume in which a wife had the orgasm 
26 times to her husband's twice. 

Hutchinson, under the name of postmarital amblyopia (Archives 
of Surgery, vol. iv, p. 200), has described a condition occurring in men 
in good health who soon after marriage become nearly blind, but re- 
cover as soon as the cause is removed. He mentions no eases in women 

ticipate in the sexual orgasm, but the evils of a prostitute's life are 
obviously connected with causes quite other than mere excess of sexual 


due to coitus, but finds that in women some failure of sight may occur 
after parturition. 

Nacke states that, in his experience, while masturbation is, ap- 
parently, commoner in insane men than in insane women, masturbation 
repeated several times a day is much commoner in the women. (P. 
Nacke, "Die Sexuellen Perversitiiten in der Irrenanstalt," Psychiatrische 
Bladen, 1899, No. 2.) 

Great excesses in masturbation seem also to be commoner among 
women who may be said to be sane than among men. Thus, Bloch 
(Xew Orleans Medical Journal, 1896) records the case of a young mar- 
ried woman of 25, of bad heredity, who had suffered from almost life- 
long sexual hyperesthesia, and would masturbate fourteen times daily 
during the menstrual periods. 

With regard to excesses in coitus the case may be mentioned of 
a country girl of 17, living in a, rural district in North Carolina where 
prostitution was unknown, who would cohabit with men almost openly. 
On one Sunday she went to a secluded school-house and let three or 
four men wear themselves out cohabiting with her. On another occa- 
sion, at night, in a field, she allowed anyone who would to perform the 
sexual act, and 25 men and boys then had intercourse with her. When 
seen she was much prostrated and with a tendency to spasm, but quite 
rational. Subsequently she married and attacks of this nature became 

Mr. Lawson made an "attested statement" of what he had ob- 
served among the Marquesan women. "He mentions one case in which 
he heard a parcel of boys next morning count over and name 103 men 
who during the night had intercourse with one woman." (Medico- 
Ghirurgical Review, 1871, vol. ii, p. 360, apparently quoting Chevers.) 
This statement seems open to question, but, if reliable, would furnish 
a case which must be unique. 

There is a further important difference, though intimately 
related to some of the differences already mentioned, between 
the sexual impulse in women and in men. In women it is at 
once larger and more diffused. As Sinibaldus long ago said, the 
sexual pleasure of men is intensive, of women extensive. In 
men the sexual impulse is, as it were, focused to a single point. 
This is necessarily so, for the whole of the essentially necessary 
part of the male in the process of human procreation is confined 
to the ejaculation of semen into the vagina. But in women, 
mainly owing to the fact that women are the child-bearers, in 
place of one primary sexual center and one primary erogenous 


region, there are at least three such sexual centers and erogenous 
regions: the clitoris (corresponding to the penis), the vaginal 
passage up to the womb, and the nipple. In both sexes there are 
other secondary and reflex centers, but there is good reason for 
believing that these are more numerous and more widespread in 
women than in men. 1 How numerous the secondary sexual cen- 
ters in women may be is indicated by the case of a woman men- 
tioned by Moraglia, who boasted that she knew fourteen different 
ways of masturbating herself. 

This great diffusion of the sexual impulse and emotions in 
women is as visible on the psychic as on the physical side. A 
woman can find sexual satisfaction in a great number of ways 
that do not include the sexual act proper, and in a great number 
of ways that apparently are not physical at all, simply because 
their physical basis is diffused or is to be found in one of the 
outlying sexual zones. 

It is, moreover, owing to the diffused character of the sexual 
emotions in women that it so often happens that emotion really 
having a sexual origin is not recognized as such even by the 
woman herself. It is possible that the great prevalence in women 
of the religious emotional state of "storm and stress," noted 
by Professor Starbuck. 2 i- largely due to unemployed sexual 
impulse. In this and "similar ways it happens that the magnitude 
of the sexual sphere in woman is unrealized by the careless 

i This is, for instance, indicated by the experiments of Gualino 
concerning the sexual sensitiveness of the lips [Archii-io di Psichiatria, 
lfiOt, fasc. 3). He found that mechanical irritation applied to the lips 
produced more or less sexual feeling in 12 out of 20 women, but in only 
10 out of 25 men, i.e., in three-fifths of the women and two-fifths of the 

- "Adolescence is for women primarily a period of storm and stress, 
while for men it is in the highest «ense a period of doubt." (Starbuck, 
Psychology of Religion, p. 241.) It is interesting to note that in the 
religious sphere, also, the emotions of women are more diffused than 
those of men; Starbuck confirms the conclusion of Professor Coe that, 
while women hare at least as much religious emotion as men, in them 
it is more all-pervasive, and they experience fewer struggles and acute 
crises. (Hid., p. 80.) 


A number of converging facts tend to indicate that the sexual 
sphere is larger, and more potent in its influence on the organism, 
in women than in men. It would appear that among the males and 
females of lower animals the same difference may be found. It is stated 
that in birds there is a greater flow of blood to the ovaries than to the 

In women the system generally is more affected by disturbances 
dn the sexual sphere than in men. This appears to be the case as 
regards the eye. "The influence of the sexual system upon the eye in 
man," Power states, "is far less potent, and the connection, in conse- 
quence, far less easy to trace than in woman." (H. Power, "Relation 
of Ophthalmic Disease to the Sexual Organs," Lancet, November 26, 

The greater predominance of the sexual system in women on the 
psychic side is clearly brought out in insane conditions. It is well 
known that, while satyriasis is rare, nymphomania is comparatively 
common. These conditions are probably often forms of mania, and in 
mania, while sexual symptoms are common in men, they are often 
stated to be the rule in women (see, e.g., Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia 
Sexualis, tenth edition, English translation, p. 465). Bouehereau, in 
noting this difference in the prevalence of sexual manifestations during 
insanity, remarks that it is partly due to the naturally greater depend- 
ence of women on the organs of generation, and partly to the more 
active, independent, and laborious lives of men; in his opinion, satyria- 
sis is specially apt to develop in men who lead lives resembling those 
of women. (Bouehereau, art. "Satyriasis,'' Dictionnaire encyclopedique 
des sciences medicates.) Again, postconnubial insanity is very much 
commoner in women than in men, a fact which may indicate the more 
predominant part played by the sexual sphere in women. (Savage, 
art. "Marriage and Insanity," Dictionary of Psychological Medicine.) 

Insanity tends to remove the artificial inhibitory influences that 
rule in ordinary life, and there is therefore significance in such a fact 
as that the sexual appetite is often increased in general paralysis and to a 
notable extent in women. (Pactet and Colin, Les Alivncs decant la 
Justice, 1902, p. 122.) 

Naeke, from his experiences among the insane, makes an interest- 
ing and possibly sound distinction regarding the character of the sexual 
manifestations in the two sexes. Among men he finds these manifesta- 
tions to be more of a reflex and purely spinal nature and chiefly mani- 
fested in masturbation; in women he finds them to be of a, more 
cerebral character, and chiefly manifested in erotic gestures, lascivious 
conversation, etc. The sexual impulse would thus tend to involve to 
a greater extent the higher psychic region in women than in men. 


Forel likewise (Die Sexuelle Frage, 1900, p. 276), remarking on the 
much greater prevalence of erotic manifestations among insane women 
than insane men (and pointing out that it is by no means due merely 
to the presence of a. male doctor, for it remains the same when the 
doc-tor is a woman), considers that it proves that in women the sexual 
impulse resides more pro min ently in the higher nervous centers and in 
men in the lower centers. (As regards the great prevalence of erotic 
manifestations among the female insane, I may also refer to Clave 
Shaw s interesting observations, "The Sexes in Lunacy," St. Bartholo- 
mew's Hospital Reports, vol. xxiv, 1SSS; also quoted in Haveloek 
Ellis, Man and Woman, p. 370 et seq.) Whether or not we may accept 
Xacke's and Forel's interpretation of the facts, which is at least doubt- 
ful, there can be little doubt that the sexual impulse is more funda- 
mental in women. This is indicated by Xaeke's observation that among 
idiots sexual manifestations are commoner in females than in males. 
Of 16 idiot girls, of the age of 16 and under, 15 certainly masturbated, 
sometimes as often as fourteen times a day, while the remaining girl 
probably masturbated; but of 25 youthful male idiots only 1 played 
with his penis. (P. Xacke, '"Die Sexuellen Perversitaten in der Irren- 
anstalt, - ' Psyckiatrische Bladen, 1899, Xo. 2, pp. 9, 12.) On the 
physical side Bourneville and Sollier found (Progres medical, 1SSS) that 
puberty is much retarded in idiot and imbecile boys, while J. Voisin 
(Annates cFHygiene Publique, June, 1894) found that in idiot and 
imbecile girls, on the contrary, there is no lack of full sexual develop- 
ment or retardation of puberty, while masturbation is common. In 
women, it may be added, as Ball pointed out (Folie erotique, p. 40), 
sexual hallucinations are especially common, while under the influence 
of anesthetics erotic manifestations and feelings are frequent in women, 
but rare in men. (Haveloek Ellis, Man and Woman, p. 256.) 

The fact that the first coitus has a much more profound moral 
and psychic influence on a woman than on a man would also seem to 
indicate how much more fundamental the sexual region is in women. 
The fact may be considered as undoubted. (It is referred to by ilarro, 
La Puberta, p. 460.) The mere physical fact that, while in men coitus 
remains a merely exterior contact, in women it involves penetration into 
the sensitive and virginal interior of the body would alone indicate this 

We are told that in the East there was once a woman named 
lloarbeda who was a philosopher and considered to be the wisest 
woman of her time. TVhen Moarbeda was once asked: "In 
what part of a woman's body does her mind reside?"' she re- 
plied : "Between her thighs.'' To many women, — perhaps, in- 


deed, we might even say to most women, — to a certain extent 
may be applied — and in no offensive sense — the dictum of the 
wise woman of the East; in a certain sense their brains are in 
their wombs. Their mental activity may sometimes seem to be 
limited ; they may appear to be passing through life always in a 
rather inert or dreamy state; but, when their sexual emotions 
are touched, then at once they spring into life ; they become alert, 
resourceful, courageous, indefatigable. "But when I am not in 
love 1 am nothing!" exclaimed a woman when reproached by a 
French magistrate for living with a thief. There are many 
women who could truly make the same statement, not many 
men. That emotion, which, one is tempted to say, often unmans 
the man, makes the woman for the first time truly herself. 

"Women are more occupied with love than men," wrote De 
Senancour (De V Amour, vol. ii, p. 59) ; "it shows itself in all their 
movements, animates their looks, gives to their gestures a grace that 
is always new, to their smiles and voices an inexpressible charm; they 
live for love, while many men in obeying love feel that they are 
forgetting themselves." 

Restif de la Bretonne (Monsieur Nicolas, vol. vi, p. 223) quotes 
a young girl who well describes the difference which love makes to a, 
woman : "Before I vegetated ; now all my actions have a motive, an end ; 
they have become important. When I wake my first thought is 'Some- 
one is occupied with me and desires me.' I am no longer alone, as I 
was before; another feels my existence and cherishes it," etc. 

"One is surprised to see in the south," remarks Bonstetten, in his 
suggestive book, I/Homme du Midi et V Homme du Nord (1824), — and 
the remark by no means applies only to the south, — "how love imparts 
intelligence even to those who are most deficient in ideas. An Italian 
woman in love is inexhaustible in the variety of her feelings, all subor- 
dinated to the supreme emotion which dominates her. Her ideas follow 
one another with prodigious rapidity, and produce a lambent play 
which is fed by her heart alone. If she ceases to love, her mind becomes 
merely the scoria of the lava which yesterday had been so bright." 

Cabanis had already made some observations to much the same 
effect. Referring to the years of nubility following puberty, he remarks : 
"I have very often seen the greatest fecundity of ideas, the most brill- 
iant imagination, a singular aptitude for the arts, suddenly develop in 
girls of this age, only to give place soon afterward to the most absolute 
mental mediocrity." (Cabanis, "De Hnfluenee des Sexes," etc., Bap- 
ports du Physique et du Morale de V Homme.) 


This phenomenon seems to be one of the indications of the 
immense organic significance of the sexual relations. Woman's 
part in the world is less obtrusively active than man's, but there 
is a moment when nature cannot dispense with energy and 
mental vigor in women, and that is during the reproductive 
period. The languidest woman must needs be alive when her 
sexual emotions are profoundly stirred. People often marvel 
at the infatuation which men display for women who, in the 
eyes of all the world, seem commonplace and dull. This is not, 
as we usually stippose, always entirely due to the proverbial 
blindness of love. For the man whom she loves, such a woman 
is often alive and transformed. He sees a woman who is hidden 
from all the world. He experiences something of that surprise 
and awe which Dostoieffsky felt when the seemingly dull and 
brutish criminals of Siberia suddenly exhibited gleams of ex- 
quisite sensibility. 

In women, it must further be said, the sexual impulse 
shows a much more marked tendency to periodicity than in men ; 
not only is it less apt to appear spontaneously, but its spon- 
taneous manifestations are in a very pronounced manner corre- 
lated with menstruation. A woman who may experience almost 
overmastering sexual desire just before, during, or after the 
monthly period may remain perfectly calm and self-possessed 
during the rest of the month. In men such irregularities of the 
sexual impulse are far less marked. Thus it is that a woman 
may often appear capricious, unaccountable, or cold, merelv be- 
cause her moments of strong emotion have been phvsiologieallv 
confined within a limited period. She may be one day capable 
of audacities of which on another the very memorv might seem 
to have left her. 

Xot only is the intensity of the sexual impulse in women, 
as compared to men, more liable to vary from day to day, or 
from week to week, but the same greater variability is marked 
when we compare the whole cycle of life in women to that of 
men. The stress of early womanhood, when the reproductive 
functions are in fullest activity, and of late womanhood, when 


they are ceasing, produces a profound organic fermentation, 
psychic as much as physical, which is not paralleled in the lives 
of men. This greater variability in the cycle of a woman's life 
as compared with a man's is indicated very delicately and pre- 
cisely by the varying incidence of insanity, and is made clearly 
visible in a diagram prepared by Marro showing the relative 
liability to mental diseases in the two sexes according to age. 1 
At the age of 20 the incidence of insanity in both sexes is equal ; 
from that age onward the curve in men proceeds in a gradual 
and equable manner, with only the slightest oscillation, on to old 
age. But in women the curve is extremely irregular; it remains 
high during all the years from 20 to 30, instead of falling like 
the masculine curve; then it falls rapidly to considerably below 
the masculine curve, rising again considerably above the mascu- 
line level during the climacteric years from 40 to 50, after which 
age the two sexes remain fairly close together to the end of life. 
Thus, as measured by the test of insanity, the curve of woman's 
life, in the sudden rise and sudden fall of its sexual crisis, differs 
from the curve of man's life and closely resembles the minor 
curve of her menstrual cycle. 

The general tendency of this difference in sexual life and 
impulse is to show a greater range of variation in women than 
in men. Fairly uniform, on the whole, in men generally and in 
the same man throughout mature life, sexual impulse varies 
widely between woman and woman, and even in the same woman 
at different periods. 

l Marro, La Puberta, p. 233. This table covers all those cases, 
nearly 3000, of patients entering the Turin asylum, from 1886 to 1895, 
in which the age of the first appearance of insanity was known. 


Summary of Conclusions. 

Ik conclusion it may be worth while to sum up the main 
points brought out in this brief discussion of a very large ques- 
tion. We have seen that there are two streams of opinion re- 
garding the relative strength of the sexual impulse in men and 
women: one tending to regard it as greater in men, the other 
as greater in women. We have concluded that, since a large 
body of facts may be brought forward to support either view, 
we may fairly hold that, roughly speaking, the distribution of 
the sexual impulse between the two sexes is fairly balanced. 

We have, however, further seen that the phenomena are in 
reality too complex to be settled by the usual crude method of 
attempting to discover quantitative differences in the sexual 
impulse. We more nearly get to the bottom of the question by 
a more analytic method, breaking up our mass of facts into 
groups. In this way we find that there are certain well-marked 
characteristics by which the sexual impulse in women differs 
from the same impulse in men: 1. It shows greater apparent 
passivity. 2. It is more complex, less apt to appear spontane- 
ously, and more often needing to be aroused, while the sexual 
orgasm develops more slowly than in men. 3. It tends to be- 
come stronger after sexual relationships are established. 4. 
The threshold of excess is less easily reached than in men. 5. 
The sexual sphere is larger and more diffused. 6. There is a 
more marked tendency to periodicity in the spontaneous mani- 
festations of sexual desire. 7. Largely as a result of these 
characteristics, the sexual impulse shows a preater range of 
variation in women than in men, both as between woman and 
woman and in the same woman at different periods. 

It may be added that a proper understanding of these 
sexual differences in men and women is of great importance, 
both in the practical management of sexual hygiene and in the 
comprehension of those wider psychological characteristics by 
which women differ from men. 




In" the eighteenth century, when savage tribes in various 
parts of the world first began to be visited, extravagantly ro- 
mantic views widely prevailed as to the simple and idyllic lives 
led by primitive peoples. During the greater part of the nine- 
teenth century the tendency of opinion was to the opposite ex- 
treme, and it became usual to insist on the degraded and licen- 
tious morals of savages. 1 

In reality, however, savage life is just as little a prolonged 
debauch as a prolonged idyll. The inquiries of such writers as 
Westermarck, Frazer, and Crawley are tending to introduce a 
sounder conception of the actual, often highly complex, con- 
ditions of primitive life in its relations to the sexual instinct. 

At the same time it is not difficult to account for the belief, 
widely spread during the nineteenth century, in the unbridled 
licentiousness of savages. In the first place, the doctrine of 
evolution inevitably created a prejudice in favor of such a view. 
It was assumed that modesty, chastity, and restraint were the 
finest and ultimate flowers of moral development; therefore at 
the beginnings of civilization we must needs expect to find the 
opposite of these things. Apart, however, from any mere prej- 
udice of this kind, a superficial observation of the actual facts 
necessarily led to much misunderstanding. Just as the naked- 
ness of many savage peoples led to the belief that they were 

1 Thus, Lubbock (Lord Avebury), in the Origin of Civilization, 
fifth edition, 1889, brings forward a number of references in evidence of 
this belief. More recently Finck, in his Primitive Love and Love-stories, 
1899, seeks to accumulate data in favor of the unbounded licentiousness 
of savages. He admits, however, that a view of the matter opposed to 
his own is now tending to prevail. 



lacking in modesty, although, as a matter of fact, modesty is 
more highly developed in savage life than in civilization, 1 so the 
absence of our European rules of sexual behavior among savages 
led to the conclusion that they were abandoned to debauchery. 
The widespread custom of lending the wife under certain cir- 
cumstances was especially regarded as indicating gross licentious- 
ness. Moreover, even when intercourse was found to be free 
before marriage, scarcely any investigator sought to ascertain 
what amount of sexual intercourse this freedom involved. It 
was not clearly understood that such freedom must by no means 
be necessarily assumed to involve very frequent intercourse. 
Again, it often happened that no clear distinction was made 
between peoples contaminated by association with civilization, 
and peoples not so contaminated. For instance, when prostitution 
is attributed to a savage people we must usually suppose either 
that a mistake has been made or that the people in question have 
been degraded by intercourse with white peoples, for among un- 
spoilt savages customs that can properly be called prostitution 
rarely prevail. Nor, indeed, would they be in harmony with 
the conditions of primitive life. 

It has been seriously maintained that the chastity of savages, 
so far as it exists at all, is due to European civilization. It is 
doubtless true that this is the case with individual persons and 
tribes, but there is ample evidence from various parts of the 
world to show that this is by no means the rule. And, indeed, it 
may be said — with no disregard of the energy and sincerity of 
missionary efforts — that it could not be so. A new system of 
beliefs and practices, however excellent it may be in itself, can 
never possess the same stringent and unquestionable force as the 
system in which an individual and his ancestors have always 
lived, and which they have never doubted the validity of. That 
this is so we may have occasion to observe among ourselves. 
Christian teachers question the wisdom of bringing young people 
under free-thinking influence, because, although they do not 

i See "The Evolution of Modesty" in the first volume of these 


deny the morals of free-thinkers, the}' believe that to unsettle 
the young may have a disastrous effect, not only on belief, but 
also on conduct. Yet this dangerously unsettling process has 
been applied by missionaries on a wholesale scale to races which 
in some respect are often little more than children. 'When, 
therefore, we are considering the chastity of savages we must not 
take into account those peoples which have been brought into 
close contact with Europeans. 

In order to understand the sexual habits of savages gen- 
erally there are two points which always have to be borne in 
mind as of the first importance: (1) the checks restraining 
sexual intercourse among savages, especially as regards time and 
season, are so numerous, and the sanctions upholding those 
checks so stringent, that sexual excess cannot prevail to the same 
extent as in civilization ; ( 2 ) even in the absence of such checks, 
that difficulty of obtaining sexual erethism which has been noted 
as so common among savages, when not overcome by the stimu- 
lating influences prevailing at special times and seasons, and 
which is probably in large measure dependent on hard condition 
of life as well as an insensitive quality of nervous texture, still 
remains an important factor, tending to produce a natural 
chastity. There is a third consideration which, though from the 
present point of view subsidiary, is not without bearing on our 
conception of chastity among savages : the importance, even 
sacredness, of procreation is much more generally recognized by 
savage than by civilized peoples, and also a certain symbolic 
significance is frequently attached to human procreation as re- 
lated to natural f ruitf ulness generally ; so that a primitive sexual 
orgy, instead of being a mere manifestation of licentiousness, 
may have a ritual significance, as a magical means of evoking the 
fraitfulness of fields and herds. 1 

l The sacredness of sexual relations often applies also to individual 
marriage. Thus, Skeat, in his Malay Magic, shows that the bride and 
bridegroom are definitely recognized as sacred, in the same sense that 
the king is, and in Malay States the king is a very sacred person. See 
also, concerning the sacred character of coitus, whether individual or 
collective, A. Van Gennep, Sites de Passage, passim. 


When a savage practises extraeonjugal sexual intercourse, 
the act is frequently not, as it has come to be conventionally 
regarded in civilization, an immorality or at least an illegitimate 
indulgence ; it is a useful and entirely justifiable act, producing 
definite benefits, conducing alike to cosmic order and social 
order, although these benefits are not always such as we in 
civilization believe to be caused by the act. Thus, speaking of 
the northern tribes of central Australia, Spencer and Gillen 
remark: 'It is very usual amongst all of the tribes to allow 
considerable license during the performance of certain of their 
ceremonies when a large number of natives, some of them coming 
often from distant parts, are gathered together — in fact, on such 
occasions all of the ordinary marital rules seem to be more or 
less set aside for the time being. Each day, in some tribes, one 
or more women are told off whose duty it is to attend at the 
corrobboree grounds, — sometimes only during the day, sometimes 
at night, — and all of the men, except those who are fathers, elder 
and younger brothers, and sons, have access to them. 
The idea is that the sexual intercourse assists in some way in the 
proper performance of the ceremony, causing everything to work 
smoothly and preventing the decorations from falling off.'" 1 

It is largely this sacred character of sexual intercourse — 
the fact that it is among the things that are at once "divine" 
and "impure,"' these two conceptions not being differentiated in 
primitive thought — which leads to the frequency with which in 
savage life a taboo is put upon its exercise. Eobertson Smith 
added an appendix to his Religion of the Semites on "Taboo on 
the Intercourse of the Sexes." 2 Westermarek brought together 
evidence showing the frequency with which this and allied causes 
tended to the chastity of savages. 8 Frazer has very luminously 
expounded the whole primitive conception of sexual intercourse, 
and showed how it affected chastitv. 4 "Warriors must often be 

1 Spencer and Gillen, Northern Tribes of Central Australia, p. 136. 

2 Religion of the Semites, second edition, 1894, p. 454 et seq. 

3 History of Marriage, pp. 66-70, 150-156, etc. 

4 Golden Bough, third edition, part ii, Taboo and the Perils of the 
foul. Frazer has discussed taboo generally. For a shorter account of 


chaste; the men who go on any hunting or other expedition 
require to be chaste to be successful; the women left behind must 
be strictly chaste; sometimes even the whole of the people left 
behind, and for long periods, must be chaste in order to insure 
the success of the expedition. Hubert and Mans touched on the 
same point in their elaborate essay on sacrifice, pointing out how 
frequently sexual relationships are prohibited on the occasion of 
any ceremony whatever. 1 Crawley, in elaborating the primitive 
conception of taboo, has dealt fully with ritual and traditional 
influences making for chastity among savages. He brings for- 
ward, for instance, a number of cases, from various parts of the 
world, in which intercourse has to be delayed for days, weeks, 
even months, after marriage. He considers that the sexual con- 
tinence prevalent among savages is largely due to a belief in the 
enervating effects of coitus; so dangerous are the sexes to each 
other that, as he points out, even now sexual separation of the 
sexes commonly occurs. 2 

There are thus a great number of constantly recurring oc- 
casions in savage life when continence must be preserved, and 
when, it is firmly believed, terrible risks would be incurred by its 
violation — during war, after victory, after festivals, during 
mourning, on journeys, in hunting and fishing, in a vast number 
of agricultural and industrial occupations. 

It might fairly be argued that the facility with which the 
savage places these checks on sexual intercourse itself bears 
witness to the weakness of the sexual impulse. Evidence of 
another order which seems to point to the undeveloped state of 
the sexual impulse among savages may be found in the com- 
paratively undeveloped condition of their sexual organs, a con- 
taboo, see art. "Taboo" by Northcote Thomas in Encyclopedia Britan- 
mica, eleventh edition, 1911. Freud has lately (Imago, 1912) made an at- 
tempt to explain the origin of taboo psychologically by comparing it to 
neurotic obsessions. Taboo, Freud believes, has its origin in a forbid- 
den act to perform which there is a strong unconscious tendency; an 
ambivalent attitude, that is, combining the opposite tendencies, is thus 
established. In this way Freud would account for the fact that tabooed 
persons and things are both sacred and unclean. 

1 "Essai sur le Sacrifice," L'Ann-ee Sociologique, 1899, pp. 50-51. 

2 The Mystic Rose, 1902, p. 187 et seq., 215 et seq., 342 et seq. 


dition not, indeed, by any means constant, bnt very frequently 
noted. As regards •women, it has in many parts of the world 
been observed to be the rule, and the data which Ploss and 
Bartels have accumulated seem to me, on the whole, to point 
clearly in this direction. 1 

At another point, also, it may he remarked, the repulsion 
between the sexes and the restraints on intercourse may be 
associated with weak sexual impulse. It is not improbable that 
a certain horror of the sexual organs may be a natural feeling 
which is extinguished in the intoxication of desire, yet still has 
a physiological basis which renders the sexual organs — disguised 
and minimized by convention and by artistic representation — 
more or less disgusting in the absence of erotic emotion. 2 And 
this is probably more marked in cases in which the sexual instinct 
is constitutionally feeble. A lady who had no marked sexual 
desires, and who considered it well bred to be indifferent to such 
matters, on inspecting her sexual parts in a mirror for the first 
time in her life was shocked and disgusted at the sight. Cer- 
tainly many women could record a similar experience on being 
first approached by a man, although artistic conventions present 
the male form with greater truth than the female. Moreover, 
— and here is the significant point, — this feeling is by no means 
restricted to the refined and cultured. "When working at 
Michelangelo/' wrote a correspondent from Italy, "my upper 
gondolier used to see photographs and statuettes of all that man's 
works. Stopping one day before the Xight and Dawn of S. 
Lorenzo, sprawling naked women, he exclaimed : TEow hideous 

i Das Weib, vol. i, section 6. 

2 This statement has been questioned. It should, however, be 
fairly evident that the sexual organs in either sex, when eloselv exam- 
ined, can scarcely be regarded as beautiful except in the eyes of a 
person of the opposite sex who is in a condition of sexual excitement, 
and they are not always attractive even then. Moreover, it must be 
remembered that the snake-like aptitude of the penis to enter into a 
state of erection apart from the control of the will puts it in a different 
category from any other organ of the body, and could not fail to at- 
tract the attention of primitive peoples so' easily alarmed by unusual 
manifestations. We find even in the early ages of Christianity that St. 
Augustine attached immense importance" to this alarming aptitude of 
the penis as a sign of man's sinful and degenerate state. 


they are !' I pressed him to explain himself. He went on : 'The 
ugliest man naked is handsomer than the finest woman naked. 
Women have crooked legs, and their sexual organs stink. I only 
once saw a naked woman. It was in a brothel, when I was 18. 
The sight of her "natura" made me go out and vomit into the 
canal. You know I have been twice married, but I never saw 
either of my wives without clothing.' Of very rank cheese he 
said one day : 'Puzza come la natura d' una donna/ " This man, 
my correspondent added, was entirely normal and robust, but 
seemed to regard sexual congress as a mere evacuation, the sexual 
instinct apparently not being strong. 

It seems possible that, if the sexual impulse had no exist- 
ence, all men would regard women with this horror femince. 
As things are, however, at all events in civilization, sexual emo- 
tions begin to develop even earlier, usually, than acquaintance 
with the organs of the other sex begins; so that this disgust 
is inhibited. If, however, among savages the sexual impulse is 
habitually weak, and only aroused to strength under the impetus 
of powerful stimuli, often acting periodically, then we should 
expect the horror to be a factor of considerable importance. 

The weakness of the physical sexual impulse among savages 
is reflected in the psychic sphere. Many writers have pointed 
out that love plays but a small part in their lives. They practise 
few endearments; they often only kiss children (Westermarck 
notes that sexual love is far less strong than parental love) ; love- 
poems are among some primitive peoples few (mostly originating 
with the women), and their literature often gives little or no 
attention to passion. 1 Affection and devotion are, however, often 
strong, especially in savage women. 

It is not surprising that jealousy should often, though not 
by any means invariably, be absent, both among men and among 
women. Among savages this is doubtless a proof of the weakness 
of the sexual impulse. Spencer and Gillen note the comparative 

l Lubbock, Origin of Civilisation, fifth edition, pp. 69, 73 ; Wester- 
marck, History of Marriage, p. 357 ; Grosse, Anf tinge der Kunst, p. 
236; Herbert Spencer, "Origin of Music," Mind, Oct., 1890. 


absence of jealousy in men among the Central Australian tribes 
they studied. 1 2s egresses, it is said by a French army surgeon 
in his Untrodden Fields of Anthropology, do not know what 
jealousy is, and the first wife will even borrow money to buy 
the second wife. Among a much higher race, the women in a 
Korean household, it is said, live together happily, as an almost 
invariable rule, though it appears that this was not always the 
case among a polygamous people of European race, the Mormons. 
The tendency of the sexual instinct in savages to periodicity, 
to seasonal manifestations, I do not discuss here, as I have dealt 
with it in the first volume of these Studies. 2 It has, however, 
a very important bearing on this subject. Periodicity of sexual 
manifestations is. indeed, less absolute in primitive man than in 
most animals, but it is still very often quite clearly marked. It 
is largely the occurrence of these violent occasional outbursts of 
the sexual instinct — during which the organic impulse to 
tumescence becomes so powerful that external stimuli are no 
longer necessary — that has led to the belief in the peculiar 
strength of the impulse in savages. 3 

i Spencer and Gillen, Satire Tribes of Central Australia, p. 99; 
cf. Finck, Primitive Lore and Love-stories, p. 89 et seq. 

- "The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity." The subject has also 
been more recently discussed by Walter Heape, "The 'Sexual Season' of 
MamniaK" Quarterly Journal of M icroscopical Science, vol. xliv. 1900. 
See also F. H. A. Marshall, The Physiology of Reproduction, 1910. 

3 This view finds a belated supporter in Max Mareuse ("Gesch- 
lechtstrieb des Urmenschens,'' Sexnal-Probleme, Oct., 1909), who, on 
grounds which I cannot regard as sound, seeks to maintain the belief 
that the sexual instinct is more highly developed among savage than 
among civilized peoples. 


The facts thus seem to indicate that among primitive 
peoples, while the magical, ceremonial, and traditional restraints 
on sexual intercourse are very numerous, very widespread, and 
nearly always very stringent, there is, underlying this prevalence 
of restraints on intercourse, a fundamental weakness of the 
sexual instinct, which craves less, and craves less frequently, 
than is the case among civilized peoples, but is liable to be 
powerfully manifested at special seasons. It is perfectly true that 
among savages, as Sutherland states, "there is no ideal which 
makes chastity a thing beautiful in itself"; but when the same 
•writer goes on to state that "it is untrue that in sexual license 
the savage has everything to learn," we must demand greater 
precision of statement. 1 Travelers, and too often would-be scien- 
tific writers, have been so much impressed by the absence among 
savages of the civilized ideal of chastity, and by the frequent 
freedom of sexual intercourse, that they have not paused to in- 
quire more carefully into the phenomena, or to put themselves 
at the primitive point of view, but have assumed that freedom 
here means all that it would mean in a European population. 

In order to illustrate the actual circumstances of savage life 
in this respect from the scanty evidence furnished by the most 
careful observers, I have brought together from scattered sources 
a few statements concerning primitive peoples in very various 
parts of the world. 2 

1 A. Sutherland, Origin and Growth of the Moral Instinct, vol. i, 
pp. 8, 187. As has been shown by, for instance, Dr. Twan Bloeh 
(Beitrage zur Mtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis, Erster Theil, 1902), 
every perverse sexual practice may be found, somewhere or other, among 
savages or barbarians; but, as the same writer acutely points out (p. 
58), these devices bear witness to the need of overcoming frigidity 
rather than to the strength of the sexual impulse. 

2 Ploss and Bartels have brought together in Das Weib » large 
number of facts in the same sense, more especially under the headings 
of Abstinenz-Vorschriften and Die Femhaltung der Schioangeren. I have 
not drawn upon their collection. 



Among the Andanianese, Portman, who knows them well, 
says that sexual desire is very moderate; in males it appeal's at 
the age of 18, but, as "their love for sport is greater than their 
passions, these are not gratified to any great "extent till after 
marriage, which rarely takes place till a man is about 26." 1 

Although chastity is not esteemed by the Fuegians, and 
virginity is lost at a very early age, yet both men and women are 
extremely moderate in sexual indulgence. 2 

Among the Eskimo at the other end of the American con- 
tinent, according to Dr. F. Cook, the sexual passions are sup- 
pressed during the long darkness of winter, as also is the 
menstrual function usually, and the majority of the children are 
born nine months after the appearance of the sun. 3 

Among the Indians of Xorth America it is the custom of 
many tribes to refrain from sexual intercourse during the whole 
period of lactation, as also D'Orbigny found to be the case among 
South American Indians, although suckling went on for over 
three years. 4 Many of the Indian tribes have now been rendered 
licentious by contact with civilization. In the primitive condi- 
tion their customs were entirely different. Dr. Holder, who 
knows many tribes of Xorth American Indians well, has dealt in 
some detail with this point. "Several of the virtues,"' he states, 
'"and among them chastity, were more faithfully practised by 
the Indian race before the invasion from the East than these 
same virtues are practised by the white race of the present day. 
The race is less salacious than either the negro or 
white race. . . That the women of some tribes are now 

more careful of their virtue than the women of any other com- 
munity whose history I know, I am fully convinced." 3 It is not 
only on the women that sexual abstinence is imposed. Among 

1 Journal of the Anthropological Institute, May, 1896, p. 369. 
- Hvades and Deniker, Hission Scicntifique du Cap Horn, vol. vii, 
p. 1SS. 

3 F. Cook, .Ynr York Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 1894. 
i A. d'Orbigny, L'Homme Amcricain, 1S30, vol. i, p. 47. 
5 A. B. Holder, ''Gyneeic Xotes Among the American Indians," 
American Journal of Obstetrics, 1S92, vol. xxvi, Xo. 1. 


some branches of the Salish Indians of British Columbia a 
young widower must refrain from sexual intercourse for a year, 
and sometimes lives entirely apart during that period. 1 

In many parts of Polynesia, although the sexual impulse 
seems often to have been highly developed before the arrival 
of Europeans, it is very doubtful whether license, in the Euro- 
pean sense, at all generally prevailed. The Marquesans, who 
have sometimes been regarded as peculiarly licentious, are espe- 
cially mentioned by Foley as illustrating his statement that 
sexual erethism is with difficulty attained by primitive peoples 
except during sexual seasons. 2 Herman Melville's detailed ac- 
count in Typee of the Marquesans (somewhat idealized, no doubt) 
reveals nothing that can fairly be called licentiousness. At 
Eotuma, J. Stanley Gardiner remarks, before the missionaries 
came sexual intercourse before marriage was free, but gross im- 
morality and prostitution and adultery were unknown. Matters 
are much worse now. 3 The Maoris of New Zealand, in the old 
days, according to one who had lived among them, were more 
chaste than the English, and, though a chief might lend his wife 
to a friend as an honor, it would be very difficult to take her 
(private communication) . 4 Captain Cook also represented these 
people as modest and virtuous. 

Among the Papuans of New Guinea and Torres Straits, 
although intercourse before marriage is free, it is by no means 
unbridled, nor is it carried to excess. There are many circum- 

i Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 1905, p. 139. 

2 Foley, Bulletin de la Societi d'Anthropologie, Paris, November 6, 

3 J. S. Gardiner, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, Febru- 
ary, 1898, p. 409. 

4 As regards the modern Maoris, a medical correspondent in New 
Zealand writes: "It is nothing for members of both sexes to live in 
the same room, and for promiscuous intercourse to take place between 
father and daughter or brother and sister. Maori women, who will 
display a great deal of modesty when in the presence of male Maoris, 
will openly ask strange Europeans to have sexual intercourse with them, 
and without any desire for reward. The men, however, seem to prefer 
their own women, and even when staying in towns, where they can 
obtain prostitutes, they will remain continent until they return home 
again, a period of perhaps a month." 


stances restraining intercourse. Thus, unmarried men must not 
indulge in it during October and November at Torre; Straits. 
It is the general rule also that there should be no sexual inter- 
course during pregnancy, while a child is being suckled (which 
goes on for three or four years), or even until it can speak or 
walk. 1 In Astrolabe Bay, Xew Guinea, according to Yahness. a 
voung couple must abstain from intercourse for several weeks 
after marriage, and to break this rule would be disgraceful. 2 

As regards Australia. Brough Smyth wrote: -Tromiseuous 
intercourse between the sexes is not practised by the aborigines,, 
and their laws on the subject, particularly those of Xew South 
Wales, are very strict. When at camp all the young unmarried 
men are stationed by themselves at the extreme end, while the 
married men, each with his family, occupy the center. Xa 
conversation is allowed between the single men and the girls 
or the married women. Infractions of these laws were visited 
bv punishment; . . . five or six warriors threw from a 
comparatively short distance several spears at him [the offender] . 
The man was often severely wounded and sometimes killed." a 
This author mentions that a black woman has been known to 
kill a white man who attempted to have intercourse with her 
by force. Yet both sexes have occasional sexual intercourse from 
an early age. After marriage, in various parts of Australia, 
there are numerous restraints on intercourse, which is forbidden 
not merely during menstruation, but during the latter part of 
pregnancy and for one moon after childbirth. 4 

Concerning the people of the Malay Peninsula, Hrolf 
Yaughan Stevens states: "The sexual impulse among the 
Belendas is only developed to a slight extent; they are not sen- 
sual, and the husband has intercourse with his wife not oftener 

i Schellong, Zcitschrift fiir Ethnologie, 1SS9. i. pp. 17, 19: Haddon, 
■Journal of the Anthropological Institute, February, 1S90. pp. 316, 397; 
Guise, io.. February and May, 1S09, p. 207; Seligmann, ib.. 1902. pp. 
29S, 301-302: Reports Ca„ bridge Expedition, vol. v, pp. 199-200, 275. 

-Zcitschrift fiir Ethnologie. 1900. ht. v, p. 414. 

3 R. Brough Smyth, The Aborigines of Victoria, vol. ii, p. 31S. 

-» Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 1S94. pp. 170. 177. 1S7. 


than three times a month. The women also are not ardent. 
. The Orang Laut are more sensual than the Dyaks, 
who are, however, more given to obscene jokes than their neigh- 
bors. . . . With the Belendas there is little or no love- 
play in sexual relations." 1 Skeat tells us also that among 
Malays in war-time strict chastity must be observed in a stock- 
ade, or the bullets of the garrison will lose their power. 2 

It is a common notion that the negro and negroid races of 
Africa are peculiarly prone to sexual indulgence. This notion 
is not supported by those who have had the most intimate 
knowledge of these peoples. It probably gained currency in 
part owing to the open and expansive temperament of the negro, 
and in part owing to the extremely sexual character of many 
African orgies and festivals, though those might quite as legiti- 
mately be taken as evidence of difficulty in attaining sexual 

A French army surgeon, speaking from knowledge of the 
black races in various French colonies, states in his Untrodden 
Fields of Anthropology that it is a mistake to imagine that the 
negress is very amorous. She is rather cold, and indifferent to 
the refinements of love, in which respects she is very unlike the 
mulatto. The white man is usually powerless to excite her, 
partly from his small penis, partly from his rapidity of emis- 
sion; the black man, on account of his blunter nervous system, 
takes three times as long to reach emission as the white man. 
Among the Mohammedan peoples of West Africa, Daniell re- 
marks, as well as in central and northern Africa, it is usual to 
suckle a child for two or more years. From the time when 
pregnancy becomes apparent to the end of weaning no inter- 
course takes place. It is believed that this would greatly en- 
danger the infant, if not destroy it. This means that for every 
child the woman, at all events, must remain continent for about 
three years. 3 Sir H. H. Johnston, writing concerning the peo- 

l Zeitschrift fiir Ethnologie, 1896, iv, pp. 180-181. 

2W. W. Skeat, Malay Magic, p. 524. 

3 W. F. Daniell, Medical Topography of Gulf of Guinea, 1849, p. 55. 

27 "2 APPEXDIX A. 

pies of central Africa-, remarks that the man also must remain 
chaste during these periods. Thus, among the Atonga the wife 
leaves her husband at the sixth month of pregnancy, and does 
not resume relations with him until five or six months after 
the birth of the child. If, in the interval, he has relations with 
any other woman, it is believed his wife will certainly die. "The 
negro is very rarely vicious,"' Johnston says, "after he has at- 
tained to the age of puberty. He is only more or less uxorious. 
The children are vicious, as they are among most races of 
mankind, the boys outrageously so. As regards the little girls 
over nearly the whole of British Central Africa, chastity before 
puberty is an unknown condition, except perhaps among the 
A-nyanja. Before a girl is become a woman it is a matter of 
absolute indifference what she does, and scarcely any girl re- 
mains a virgin after about 5 years of age." 1 Among the 
Bangala of the upper Congo a woman suckles her child for six 
to eighteen months and during all this period the husband has 
no intercourse with his wife, for that, it is believed, would kill 
the child. 2 

Among the Toruba-speaking people of "West Africa A. B. 
Ellis mentions that suckling lasts for three years, during the 
whole of which period the wife must not cohabit with her 
husband. 3 

Although chastity before marriage appears to be, as a rule, 
little regarded in Africa, this is not always so. In some parts of 
TTest Africa, a girl, at all events if of high birth, when found 
guilty of unchastity may be punished by the insertion into her 
vagina of bird pepper, a kind of capsicum, beaten into a mass; 
this produces intense pain and such acute inflammation that the 
canal may even be obliterated. 4 

Among the Dahomey women there is no coitus during preg- 
nancy nor during suckling, which lasts for nearly three years. 

1 Sir H. H. Johnston, British Central Africa, 1899, pp. 409, 414. 

2 Rev. J. H. Weeks, Journal of the Anthropoloqical Institute, 1910, 
p. 418. 

•3 Sir A. B. Ellis, Toruha-8 peaking Peoples, p. 185. 
4 W. F. Daniell, op. eit., p. 36. 


The same is true among the Jekris and other tribes on the 
Niger, where it is believed that the milk would suffer if inter- 
course took place during lactation. 1 

In another part of Africa, among the Suaheli, even after 
marriage only incomplete coitus is at first allowed and there is 
no intercourse for a year after the child's birth. 2 

Farther south, among the Ba Wenda of north Transvaal, 
says the Eev. R. Wessmann, although the young men are per- 
mitted to "play" with the young girls before marriage, no sexual 
intercourse is allowed. If it is seen that a girl's labia are apart 
when she sits down on a stone, she is scolded, or even punished, 
as guilty of having had intercourse. 3 

Among the higher races in India the sexual instinct is 
very developed, and sexual intercourse has been cultivated as 
an art, perhaps more elaborately than anywhere else. Here, 
however, we are far removed from primitive conditions and 
among a people closely allied to the Europeans. Farther to 
the east, as among the Cambodians, strict chastity seems to 
prevail, and if we cross the Himalayas to the north we find our- 
selves among wild people to whom sexual license is unknown. 
Thus, among the Turcomans, even a few days after the mar- 
riage has been celebrated, the young couple are separated for an 
entire year. 4 

All the great organized religions have seized on this value 
of sexual abstinence, already consecrated by primitive magic and 
religion, and embodied it in their system. It was so in ancient 
Egypt. Thus, according to Diodorus, on the death of a king, 
the entire population of Egypt abstained from sexual intercourse 
for seventy-two days. The Persians, again, attached great value 
to sexual as to all other kinds of purity. Even involuntary semi- 
nal emissions were severely punishable. To lie with a menstruat- 

i Journal of the Anthropological Institute, August and November, 
1898, p. 106. 

zZeitschrift fur Ethnologie, 1899, ii and iii, p. 84; Velten, Sitten 
und Georaiiche der Suaheli, p. 12. 

3 Zeitsohrift fur Ethnologie, 1896, p. 364. 

4 VambSry, Travels in Central Asia, 1864, p. 323. 



ing woman, according to the Vendidad, was as serious a matter 
as to pollute holy fire, and to lie with a pregnant woman was to 
incur a penalty of 2000 strokes. Among the modern Parsees 
a man must not lie with his wife after she is four months and 
ten days pregnant. Mohammedanism cannot be described as an 
ascetic religion, yet long and frequent periods of sexual absti- 
nence are enjoined. There must be no sexual intercourse during 
the whole of pregnancy, during suckling, during menstruation 
(and for eight days before and after), nor during the thirty 
days of the Bamedan fast. Other times of sexual abstinence are 
also prescribed ; thus among the Mohammedan Yezidis of Mardin 
in northern Mesopotamia there must be no sexual intercourse 
on Wednesdays or Fridays. 1 

In the early Christian Church many rules of sexual absti- 
nence still prevailed, similar to those usual among savages, though 
not for such prolonged periods. In Egbert's Penitential, belong- 
ing to the ninth century, it is stated that a woman must abstain 
from intercourse with her husband three months after conception 
and for forty days after birth. There were a number of other 
occasions, including Lent, when a husband must not know his 
wife. 2 "Some canonists say,'' remarks Jeremy Taylor, "that the 
Church forbids a mutual congression of married pairs upon fes- 
tival days. . . The Council of Eliberis commanded absti- 
nence from conjugal rights for three or four or seven days before 
the communion. Pope Liberius commanded the same during 
the whole time of Lent, supposing the fast is polluted by such 
*coneressions." 3 

i Heard, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, Jan.-June, 1911, 
210. The same rule is also observed by the Christians of this district. 

2 Haddon and Stubbs, Councils anrl Ecclesiastical Documents, vol. 
i, p. 423. 

3 Jeremy Taylor, The Rule of Conscience, bk. iii, ch. iv, rule xx. 


Thus it ■would seem probable that, contrary to a belief once 
widely prevalent, the sexual instinct has increased rather than 
diminished with the growth of civilization. This fact was clear 
to the insight of Lucretius, though it has often been lost sight 
of since. 1 Yet even observation of animals might have sug- 
gested the real bearing of the facts. The higher breeds of 
cattle, it is said, require the male more often than the inferior 
breeds. 2 Thorough-bred horses soon reach sexual maturity, and 
I understand that since pains have been taken to improve cart- 
horses the sexual instincts of the mares have become less trust- 
worthy. There is certainly no doubt that in our domestic ani- 
mals generall)', which live under what may be called civilized 
conditions, the sexual system and the sexual needs are more 
developed than in the wild species most closely related to them. 3 
All observers seem to agree on this point, and it is sufficient to 
refer to the excellent summary of the question furnished by 
Heape in the study of "The 'Sexual Season' of Mammals," to 
which reference has already been made. He remarks, more- 
over, that, "while the sexual activity of domestic animals and 
of wild animals in captivity may be more frequently exhibited, 
it is not so violent as is shown by animals in the wild state." 4 
So that, it would seem, the greater periodicity of the instinct 
in the wild state, alike in animals and in man, is associated" 
with greater violence of the manifestations when they do ap- 

iDe Rerum Natura, v, 1016. 

aRaciborski (Traits de la Menstruation, p. 43) quotes the observa- 
tion of an experienced breeder of choice cattle to this effect. 

3 "The organs which in the feral state," as Adlerz remarks ( Bio- 
logisches Centralblatt, No. 4, 1902; quoted in Science, May 16, 1902), 
"are continually exercised in a severe struggle for existence, do not under 
domestication compete so closely with one another for the less needed 
nutriment. Hence, organs like the reproductive glands, which are not 
so directly implicated in self-preservation, are able to avail themselves 
of more food." 

4 Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science, vol. xliv, 1900, p. 
12, 31, 39. 



pear. Certain rodents, such as the rat and the mouse, are well 
known to possess both great reproductive power and marked 
sexual proclivities. Heape suggests that this also is "due to 
the advantages derived from their intimate relations with the 
luxuries of civilization." Heape recognizes that, as regards 
reproductive power, the same development may be traced in 
man: "It would seem highly probable that the reproductive 
power of man Las increased with civilization, precisely as it may 
be increased in the lower animals by domestication; that the 
effect of a regular supply of good food, together with all the 
other stimulating factors available and exercised in modern civi- 
lized communities, has resulted in such great activity of the 
generative organs, and so great an increase in the supply of the 
reproductive elements, that conception in the healthy human 
female may be said to be possible almost at any time during 
the reproductive period." 

"People of sense and reflection are most apt to have violent 
and constant passions," wrote Hary TTollstoneeraft, "and to be 
preyed on by them." 1 It is that fact which leads to the greateT 
importance of sexual phenomena among the civilized as com- 
pared to savages. The conditions of civilization increase the 
sexual instinct, which consequently tends to be more intimately 
connected with moral feelings. Morality is bound up with 
the development of the sexual instinct. The more casual and 
periodic character of the impulse in animals, since it involves 
greater sexual indifference, tends to favor a loose tie between 
the sexes, and hence is not favorable to -the development of 
morals as we understand morals. In man the ever-present im- 
pulse of sex, idealizing each sex to the other sex, draws men and 
women together and holds them together. Foolish and igno- 
rant persons may deplore the full development which the sexual 
instinct has reached in civilized man; to a finer insight that 
development is seen to be indissolubly linked with all that is 
most poignant and most difficult, indeed, but also all that is 
best, in human life as we know it. 

i "Ix>ve/' in Thoughts on tlw Education of Daughters. 



It is a very remarkable fact that, although for many years 
past serious attempts have been made to elucidate the psychol- 
ogy of sexual perversions, little or no endeavor has been made 
to study the development of the normal sexual emotions. 
Nearly every writer seems either to take for granted that he 
and his readers are so familiar with all the facts of normal sex 
psychology that any detailed statement is altogether uncalled 
for, or else he is content to write a few fragmentary remarks, 
mostly made up of miscellaneous extracts from anatomical, 
philosophical, and historical works. 

Yet it is as unreasonable to take normal phenomena for 
granted here as in any other region of science. A knowledge 
of such phenomena is as necessary here as physiology is to 
pathology or anatomy to surgery. So far from the facts of 
normal sex development, sex emotions, and sex needs being uni- 
form and constant, as is assumed by those who consider their 
discussion unnecessary, the range of variation within fairly nor- 
mal limits is immense, and it is impossible to meet with two 
individuals whose records are nearly identical. 

There are two fundamental reasons why the endeavor 
should be made to obtain a broad basis of clear information on 
the subject. In the first place, the normal phenomena give the 
key to the abnormal phenomena, and the majority of sexual 
perversions, including even those that are most repulsive, are 
but exaggerations of instincts and emotions that are germinal 
in normal human beings. In the second place, we cannot even 
know what is normal until we are acquainted with the sexual 
life of a large number of healthy individuals. And until we 
know the limits of normal sexuality we are not in position to 
lay down any reasonable rules of sexual hygiene. 



On these grounds I have for some time sought to obtain 
the sexual Itisrories. and more especially the early histories, of 
men and women who, on prima facie grounds, may fairly be 
considered, or are at all events by themselves and others con- 
sidered, ordinarily healthy and normal. 

There are many difficulties about such a task, difficulties 
which are sufficiently obvious. There is. first of all, the natural 
reticence to reveal facts of so intimately personal a character. 
There is the prevailing ignorance and nnintelligence which 
leads to the phenomena being obscure to the subject himself. 
When the first difficulty has been overcome, and the second is 
non-existent, there is still a lack of sufficiently strong motive 
to undertake the record, as well as a failure to realize the value 
of such records. I have, however, received a large number of 
such histories, for the most part offered spontaneously with 
permission to make such further inquiries as I thought desir- 
able. Some of these histories are extremely interesting and 
instructive. In the present Appendix, and in a corresponding 
Appendix to the two following volumes of these Studies, I 
bring forward a varied selection of these narratives. In a few 
cases, it will be seen, the subjects are. to say the least, on the 
borderland of the abnormal, but they do not come before us as 
patients desiring treatment. They are playing their, usually 
active, sometimes even distinguished, part in the world, which 
knows nothing of their intimate histories. 

History I. — E. T. (I reproduce this history, written in the third 
person, as it reached my hands.) TV's earliest recollections of ideas of 
a sexual character are Taguely associated with thoughts upon whipping 
inflicted on companions by their parents, and sometimes upon his own 
person. About the age of 7 T. occasionally depicted to himself the 
appearance of the bare nates and genitalia of boys during flagellation. 
Reflection upon whipping gave rise to slight curious sensations at the 
base of the abdomen and in the nerves of the sexual system. The sight 
of a boy being whipped upon the bare nates caused erection before the 
age of 9. He cannot account for these excitations, as at the time he 
had not learned the most rudimentary facts of sex. The spectacle of 
the boy's nudity had no attraction for him, while the beating aroused 
his indignation against the person who administered it. T. knew a boy 


and girl of about his own age whose imaginations dwelt somewhat mor- 
bidly upon whipping. The three used to talk together about such 
chastisement, and the little girl liked to read "stories that had whippings 
in them." None of these children delighted in cruelty; the fascination 
in the theme of castigation seemed to be in imagining the spectacle 
of the exposed nates, though actual witnessing of the whipping made 
them angry at the time. / 

Accustomed to watch a young sister beingibathed, T. had no dis- 
tinct curiosity concerning the differences in sex until the age of 9. 
About this time he asked his father where babies came from, and 
was told to be quiet. When he persisted in the inquiry his father 
threatened to box his ears. His mother told him subsequently that 
doctors brought babies to mothers. He credited the story so far as 
to carefully watch the doctor who came when his mother "was going 
to have a new baby,'' in the hope of seeing a. bundle in his arm. T. 
was 9 when he interrogated a servant-girl of 16 about babies and their 
origin. She laughed and said that one day she would tell him how 
children came. One Sunday this servant took T. for a country walk 
and initiated him in sexual intercourse, telling him he was too young 
to be a father, but that was the way babies were made. The girl took 
him into a field, saying she would show him how to do something which 
would make him "feel as though he was in heaven," informing him 
that she had often done this with young men. She then succeeded in 
causing erection and instructed him how to act. His feeling at the 
time was one of disgust; the appearance and odor of the female gen- 
italia repelled him. Afterward, however, he wished to repeat the ex- 
perience with girls of his own age. Finding the boy unresponsive, the 
girl took the masculine position and embraced him with great passion. 
T. can recall the expression of the girl's face, the perspiration on her 
forehead, and the whispered query whether it pleased him. The em- 
brace lasted for about ten minutes, when the girl said it had "done her 
good." Later the same day they met a girl cousin of this servant 
about 10 or 12 years old. The three went to a lonely part of the sea- 
shore. The servant there suggested that T. should repeat the act with 
the little girl. T. was too shy, though the girl seemed quite willing and 
experienced. The older girl told the younger to keep watch a few yards 
away, while she again brought about intercourse in the same way. The 
servant told T. not to tell anyone. Intercourse with the servant was 
never repeated after that day; from shame he kept the promise for 
many years. 

After this episode T. began to speculate about sexual matters and 
to observe the coupling of dogs with newly acquired interest. At 10 
years he often lay awake, listening to a woman of 25 singing to a piano 


accompaniment. The woman's voice seemed very beautiful, and so 
strongly impressed him that he fell in love with her and longed to 
embrace her sexually. This secret attachment was much more romantic 
than sensual, though the idea of embracing the woman seemed to T. 
a natural part of the romance. He was beginning to invest the sex 
with angelic qualities. The thought of his adventure with the servant 
no longer caused repulsion, but rather pleasure. He reflected that if 
he could meet the girl now he could be very fond of her and under- 
stand things better. At this time he had not masturbated, nor even 
heard of the practice. One day, while playing with a girl of his own 
age, he succeeded in overcoming her shyness and induced her to expose 
herself, at the same time uncovering his own sexual parts. On this 
occasion and once afterward he succeeded in penetrating the vulva. 
Both he and the girl experienced imperfect enjoyment. 

At boarding-school, where he was sent at 10, T. learned the vulgar 
phrases for sexual organs and sexual acts, and acquired the habit of 
moderate masturbation. Coarse talk and indecent jests about the op- 
posite sex were common amusements of the playroom and dormitories. 
At first the obscene conversation was very distasteful; later he became 
more used to it, but thought it strange that sex intimacy should be 
a subject for ridicule and jest. 

He began to read love-stories and think much about girls. At the 
same time he learned the nature of "the sin of fornication," and won- 
dered why it should be considered so heinous. Parts of the Bible con- 
demning intercourse between the unmarried alarmed him. Being of «. 
serious as well as emotional and amorous nature, he became converted 
to evangelic belief. His mother warned him to beware of unclean com- 
panions at school. He tried to act as a Christian and think only pure 
thoughts about women. The talk, however, was always of girls and 
of being in love. His mind was often engrossed with amatory ideas of 
a poetic, sensuous nature, his sexual experiences having a firm hold on 
his imagination, while they gave him gratifying assurance of actual 
knowledge concerning things merely imagined by most of his com- 

His health was vigorous and he keenly enjoyed all outdoor games 
and excelled in daring and schoolboy mischief. 

At 12 he fell deeply in love with u girl of corresponding age. He 
never felt any powerful sexual desire for his sweetheart, and never 
attempted anything but kissing and decorous caresses. He liked to 
walk and sit with the girl, to hold her hand, and stroke her soft hair. 
He felt real grief when separated from her. His thoughts of her were 
seldom sensual. A year or so afterward he had a temporary passion 
for a woman of 30, who used to flirt with him and allow kissing. T. 
thought her queen-like and very lovely, and wished to be her knight. 


One day he saw, for a moment, in a, friend's house, a dark, earnest- 
looking girl of 13, who made a very deep impression upon him, and, 
though he did not exchange a word with her, he often thought about 
her afterward. Five years later he met the dark girl again, and the 
pair were mutually drawn to one another. He proposed marriage and 
avowed a most desperate passion. A refusal on the plea of youth 
caused him the deepest misery. About eight years thereafter T. married 
the girl, and the marriage proved a very happy one for both. 

When he was 15 T. made the acquaintance of a, pretty blonde of 
the same age. "She was a high-spirited hoiden. They were soon close 
friends and later lovers. They wrote a number of letters to each other 
and exchanged locks of hair and presents. Their talk about love was 
unreserved. One day she told T. that she had been sexually embraced 
by a former lover, a boy of 16, hinting very plainly that she would like 
T. to embrace her. This amour lasted for about six months. The 
lovers had many opportunities for clandestine intercourse. They used 
to consummate their passion in a, part of a, wood they called "the 
bower." Now and then one or the other would experience » pricking 
of conscience, but they were too passionately attached to each other to 
sever the intimacy. At length the girl began to dread the risk of 
conception and the intercourse ceased. Looking back upon this episode 
T. avers that the attachment and its physical expression seemed quite 
natural, poetic, and beautiful, though at times his religious principles 
condemned his conduct. He now thinks that the experience is by no 
means to be regretted either by the girl or himself. It was a whole- 
some youthful passion, as innocent as the mating of birds, and the 
insight which it gave to both of the hidden emotions of human nature 
was morally advantageous in after-life. 

T. believes that his amative 'precocity was due to the early awak- 
ening of sex feeling by the servant-girl. But he also believes that the 
love passion would have asserted itself early in any case, since he in- 
herits a warm temperament, had erectile power long before puberty, 
and has considerable seminal capacity. Having closely watched the 
effects of suppressed normal emotions and desires in youth at the time 
of pubescence, he maintains that such suppression is disastrous, causing 
unhealthy thoughts and leading to the formation of a habit of mas- 
turbation which may persist throughout life. He believes that tem- 
porary sexual intimacies between boys and girls under 20 from the 
period of puberty would be far less harmful than separation of the 
sexes until marriage, with its resultants: masturbation, hysteria, re- 
pressed and disordered functions in young women, seduction, prosti- 
tution, venereal affections, and many other evils. 


Histoet II. — The following narrative was written by a married 
lady: '"Sly mother (herself a very passionate and attractive woman) 
recognized the difficulty for English girls of getting satisfactorily mar- 
ried, and determined, if possible, to shield us from disappointment by 
turning our thoughts in a different direction. Theoretically the idea 
was perhaps good, but in practice it proved useless. The natural desires 
were there. Disappointment and disillusion followed their repression 
none the less surely for having altered their natural shape. I think 
the love I had for my mother was almost sexual, as to be with her was 
a keen pleasure, and to be long away from her an almost unendurable 
pain. She used to talk to us a good deal on all sorts of subjects, but 
she never troubled about education in the ordinary sense. When 9 
years old I had been taught nothing except to read and write. She 
never forbade us to read anything, but if by accident we got hold of a 
book of which she did not approve she used to say: 'I think that is 
rather a silly story, don't you ?' We were so eager to come up to her 
standard of taste that we at once imagined we thought it silly, too. 
In the same way she discouraged ideas about love or marriage, not by 
suggesting there was anything wrong or improper about them, but by 
implying great contempt for girls who thought about lovers, etc. Up 
to the age of about 20 I had a vague general impression that love was 
very well for ordinary women, but far beneath the dignity of a some- 
what superior person like myself. To show how little it entered my 
thoughts I may add that, up to 17, I fancied a woman got a child by 
being kissed on the lips by a man. Hence all the fuss in novels about 
the kiss on the mouth. 

"When I was 9 years old I began to feel a great craving for scien- 
tific knowledge. A Child's Guide to Science, which I discovered at a 
second-hand book-stall (and which, by the way, informed me that heat 
is due to a substance called caloric), became a constant companion. 
In order to learn about light and gravitation, I saved up my money and 
ordered (of all books) Newton's Prineipia, shedding bitter tears when 
I found I could not understand a, word of it. At the same time I was 
horribly ashamed of this desire for knowledge. I got such books as I 
could surreptitiously and hid them in odd corners. Why, I cannot imag- 
ine, as no one would have objected, but, on the contrary, I should have 
been helped to suitable books. 

"My sisters and I were all violently argumentative, but our quar- 
rels were all on abstract subjects. We saw little of other children and 
made no friendships, preferring each other's society to that of outsiders. 
When I was about 10 a girl of the same age came to stay with us for 
a few days. When we went to bed the first night she asked me if I 
ever played with myself, whereupon I took a great dislike to her. Xo 


sexual ideas or feelings were excited. When still quite a child, how- 
ever, I had feelings of excitement which I now recognize as sexual. 
Such feelings always came to me in bed (at least I cannot remember 
them at any other time) and were generally accompanied by a, grad- 
ually increasing desire to make water. For a long time I would not 
dare to get out of bed for fear of being scolded for staying awake, and 
only did so at last when actually compelled. In the mean time the 
sexual excitement increased also, and I believe I thought the latter 
was the result of the former, or, perhaps, rather, that both were the 
same thing. (This was when I was about 7 or 8 years old.) So far as 
I can recollect, the excitement did not recur when the desire to make 
water had been gratified. I seemed to remember wondering why think- 
ing of certain things (I can't remember what these were) should make 
one want to urinate. (In later life I have found that, if the bladder 
is not emptied before coitus, pleasure is often more intense.) There 
were also feelings, which I now recognize as sexual, in connection with 
ideas of whipping. 

"As a child and girl I had very strong religious feelings ( I should 
have now if I could believe in the reality of religion), which were 
absent in my sisters. These feelings were much the same as I experi- 
enced later sexually; I felt toward God what I imagined I should like 
to feel to my husband if I married. This, I fancy, is what usually oc- 
curs. At 14 I went to a boarding-school where there were seventy girls 
between 7 and 19. I think it goes to show that there is but very little 
sexual precocity among English girls that during the three years I 
stayed there I never heard a word the strictest mother would have 
objected to. One or two of the older girls were occasionally a little 
sentimental, but on no occasion did I hear the physical side of things 
touched upon. I think this is partly due to the amount of exercise 
We took. When picturing my childhood I always see myself racing 
about, jumping walls, climbing trees. In France and Italy I have been 
struck by the greater sedateness of Continental children. Our idea of 
naughtiness consisted chiefly in having suppers in our bedrooms and 
sliding down the banisters after being sent to bed. The first gratified 
our natural appetite, while the seGond supplied the necessary thrill in 
the fear of being caught. 

"I made no violent friendships with the other girls, but I became 
much attached to the French governess. She was 30, and a born teacher, 
very strict with all of us, and doubly so with me for fear of showing 
favoritism. But she was never unjust, and I was rather proud of her 
severity and took a certain pleasure in being punished by her, the 
punishment always taking the form of learning by heart, which I 
rather liked doing. So I had my thrill, excitement, I don't quite know 


what to call it, without any very great inconvenience to myself. Just 
before we left school the sexual instinct began to show itself in en- 
thusiasm for art with a. capital A, Ouida's novels being mainly respon- 
sible. My sister and I agreed that we would spend our lives traveling 
about France, Italy, and the Continent, generally a la Tricotrin, with 
a violin in one pocket and an Atravante Dante in the other. To do this 
satisfactorily to ourselves we must be artists, and I resolved to go in 
for music and become a second Liszt. When my father offered to take 
us to Italy, the artist's Mecca, for a couple of years, we were wild with 
delight. We went, and disillusionment began. It may perhaps seem 
absurd, but we suffered acutely that first summer. Our villa was quite 
on the beach, the lowest of its flight of steps being washed by the 
Mediterranean. At the back were grounds which seemed a paradise. 
Long alleys covered over with vines and carpeted with long grass and 
poppies, giassy slopes dotted with olives and ilex, roses everywhere, 
and almost every flower in profusion, with, at night, the fireflies and 
the heavy scents of syringa and orange blossoms. In the midst of every 
possible excitement to the senses there was one thing wanting, and we 
did not know what that was. 

"We attributed our restlessness and dissatisfaction to the slow 
progress in our artistic education, and consoled ourselves by thinking 
when once we had mastered the technical difficulties we should feel 
all right. And of course we did derive a very real pleasure from all 
the beauties of art and nature with which Italy abounds. 

"It seems to me, however, that the art craze is one of the modern 
phases of woman's sexual life. When we were in Italy the great centers 
of the country were simply overrun with girls studying art, most of 
whom had very little talent, but who had mistaken the restlessness due 
to the first awakening of the sexual instinct for the divine flame of 
genius. In our case it did not matter, as we were not dependent upon 
our own exertions. But it must have been terribly hard for girls who 
had burned their boats and chosen art as a, career, to have added to the 
repression of their natural desires the bitterness of knowing that in 
their chosen walk of life they were failures. The results as far as work 
goes might not be so bad if the passions, as in men, were occasionally 
gratified. It is the constant drudgery combined with the disappointment 
and finding that art alone does not satisfy which is so paralyzing. 
Besides, sexual gratification is always followed by exaltation of the 
mental faculties, with, in my experience, no depressing reaction such as 
follows pleasure excited by mental causes alone. 

"At one time when living at the villa I met a man about 45, who 
took rather a fancy to me. I mention this because it woke me up; no 
emotion was excited, but I realized for the first time (I must have been 


nearly 20) that I was no longer a child, and that a man could think 
of me in connection with love. It was only after this, and not imme- 
diately after, either, that men's society began to have an interest for 
me, and that I began to think a man's love would be a pleasant thing 
to possess, after all. 

"The sexual instinct, at any rate as regards consciousness, thus 
developed slowly and in what I believe to be a very usual sequence: 
religion, admiration for an older woman, and art. I am not sure that 
I have made quite enough of the first, yet I do not know that there 
is any more to say. There were very strong physical feelings connected 
with all these which were identical with those now connected with 
passion, but they were completely satisfied by the mental idea which 
excited them. 

"The first time I can remember feeling keen physical pleasure was 
when I was between 7 and 8 jears old. I can't recollect the cause, but 
I remember lying quite still in my little cot clasping the iron rails at 
the top. It may be said that this is hardly slow development, but I 
mean slow as regards ( 1 ) any connection of the idea with a man or 
(2) any physical means of excitation. 

"I have laid stress on my desire for knowledge, as I think my 
sexual feelings were affected by it. A great part of my feeling for my 
mother was due to the stores of information she appeared to possess. 
The omniscience of God was to me his most striking attribute. My 
French teacher's capacity was her chief attraction. When, as a girl, 
I thought, of marriage, I desired a man who 'could explain things to 
me.' One learns later to live one's mental and sexual life separately 
to a great extent. But at 20 I could not have done so; given the 
■ opportunity, I should have made the mistake of Dorothea in Middle- 

"I have spoken of the depressing after-effects of pleasure brought 
about by a, purely mental cause, but I do not think this is the case in 
childhood and early youth. (Perhaps some women feel no such depres- 
sion afterward, and this may account for their coldness in regard to 
men.) This may perhaps be accounted for by the fact that it occurs 
much more rarely, and also it is perhaps » natural process before the 
sexual organs fully develop, and so not harmful. 

"I always find it difficult in expressing the different degrees of 
physical excitement even to myself, though I know exactly what I felt. 
As a child, from the time of the early experience already mentioned 
(about the age of 7 or 8), and as a young girl, the second stage 
(secretion of mucus) was always reached. The amount of secretion has 
always been excessive, but at first secretion only lasted a short time; 
later it began to last for several hours', or even sometimes the whole 


night, if the natural gratification has been withheld for a long time 
( say, three months ) . I do not remember ever feeling the third stage 
(complete orgasm) until I saw the first man I fancied I cared for. I 
do not think that mental causes alone have ever produced more than 
the first two stages (general diffuse excitement and secretion). I have 
sometimes wondered whether I could produce the third mechanically, 
but I have a curious unreasonable repugnance to trying the experiment; 
it would seem to -materialize it too much. As a child and a girl I was 
contented to arrive at the second stage, possibly because I did not 
realize that there was any other, and perhaps this is why I have ex- 
perienced no evil results. 

"In dreams the third stage seems to come suddenly without any 
leading up to it, either mental or physical, of which I am conscious. I 
do not, however, remember having any such dreams before I was en- 
gaged. They came at a later period; even then, when great pleasure 
was experienced, it came, as a rule, suddenly and sharply, with no 
dreams leading up to it. The dreams generally take a sad form (an 
Evangeline and Gabriel business), where one vainly seeks the person 
who eludes one. I have, however, sometimes had pleasurable dreams 
of men who were quite indifferent to me and of whom I never thought 
when awake. The impression on waking is so strong one could almost 
fancy one's self really in love with them. I can quite understand falling 
in love with a person by dreaming of him in this way. 

'"The first time I remember experiencing the third stage in waking 
moments was at a picnic, when the man, to whom I have before re- 
ferred as the first that I fancied I eared for, leaned against me acciden- 
tally in passing a plate or dish ; but I was already in a violent state of 
excitement at being with him. There was no possibility of anything be- 
tween us, as he was married. If he guessed my feelings, they were never 
admitted, as I did my best to hide them. I never experienced this, 
except at the touch of some one I loved. (I think the saying about 
the woman 'desiring the desire of the man' is just about as true as 
most epigrams. It is the man's personality alone which affects me. 
His feelings toward me are of — I was going to say — indifference, but at 
any rate quite secondary importance, and the gratification of my own 
vanity counts as nothing in such relations.) 

"As a rule, to reach even the second stage the exciting ideas must 
be associated with some particular person, except in the case of a story, 
where one identifies one's self with one of the characters. In childhood 
and early youth it was, in the case of religion, the idea of God and 
the presence and the personality of God which aroused my feelings and 
always seemed very vivid to me. In the case of my governess, my 
feelings were aroused in exactly the same way as later they would be 


by one's lover. In the art craze I am rather vague as to how it came 
about, but I think, as a rule, there was rather a craving for pleasure 
than pleasure itself. I do not remember ever thinking much about the 
physical feeling. It seemed as natural that a pleasant emotion should 
produce pleasant physical effects as that a painful one should cause 
tears. As a. child, one takes so much for granted, and later on my 
mind was so much occupied with worrying about the truth of religion 
that I hardly thought enough about anything else to analyze it care- 

"I may summarize my own feelings thus: First, exciting ideas 
alone produce, as a rule, merely the first stage of sexual excitement. 
Second, the same ideas .connected with a. particular person will produce 
the second stage. Third, the same may be said of the presence of the 
beloved person. Fourth, actual contact appears necessary for the third 
stage. If the first stage only be reached, the sensation is not pleasur- 
able in reality, or would not be but for its association. If produced, 
as I have sometimes found it to be, by a sense of mental incapacity, it 
is distinctly disagreeable, especially if one feels that the energy which 
might have been used in coping with the difficulty is being thus dis- 
sipated. If it be produced, as it may be, as the result of physical or 
mental restraint, it is also unpleasant unless the restraint were put 
upon one by a person one loves. Then, however, the second stage would 
probably be reached, but this would depend a good deal on one's mood. 
If the first stage only were reached, I think it would be disagreeable; 
it would mean a conflict between one's will and sexual feeling. Perhaps 
women who feel actual repugnance to the sexual act with a man they 
love have never gone beyond the first stage, when their dislike to it 
would be quite intelligible to me. 

"Some time after the life in Italy had come to an end I became 
engaged. There was considerable difficulty in the way of marriage, 
but we saw a good deal of each other. My fiancr often dined with us, 
and we met every day. The result of seeing him so frequently was that 
I was kept in a constant state of strong, but suppressed, sexual excite- 
ment. This was particularly the case when we met in the evening and 
wandered about the moonlit garden together. When this had gone on 
about three months I began to experience a sense of discomfort after 
each of his visits. The abdomen seemed to swell with a feeling of full- 
ness and congestion; but, though these sensations were closely con- 
nected with the . physical excitement, they were not sufficiently painful 
to cause me any alarm or make me endeavor to avoid their pleasurable 
cause. The symptoms got worse, however, and no longer passed off 
quickly as at first. The swelling increased; considerable pain and a 
dragged-down sensation resulted the moment I tried to walk even a 


short distance. I was troubled with constant indigestion, weight in 
the chest, pain in the head and eyes, and continual slight diarrhea. 
This went on for about nine months, and then my fiance was called 
away from the neighborhood. After his departure I got a trifle better, 
but the symptoms remained, though in less acute form. A few months 
later the engagement was broken off, and for some weeks I was se- 
verely ill with influenza and was on my back for several weeks. When 
I could get about a little, though very weak, all the swelling was 
gone, but pain returned whenever I tried to walk or stand for long. 
The indigestion and diarrhea were also very troublesome. I was 
treated for both by a physician, but without success. Next year I 
became engaged to my husband and was shortly after married. The 
indigestion and diarrhea disappeared soon after. The pain and drag- 
ging feeling in the abdomen bothered me much in walking or any kind 
of exercise. One day I came across a medical work, The Elements of 
Social Science, in which I found descriptions of symptoms like those 
I suffered from ascribed to uterine disease. I again applied to a doctor, 
telling him I thought there was displacement and possibly congestion. 
He confirmed my opinion and told me to wear a. pessary. He ascribed 
the displacement to the relaxing climate, and said he did not think I 
should ever get quite right again. After the pessary had been placed 
in position every trace of pain, etc., left me. A year later I thought 
I would try and do without the pessary, and to my great satisfaction 
none of the old trials came back after its removal, in spite of much 
trouble, anxiety, sick nursing, and fatigue. I attribute the disorder 
entirely to violent sexual excitement which was not permitted its nat- 
ural gratification and relief. 

"I have reason to believe that suppression acts very injuriously on 
a woman's mental capacity. When excitement is naturally relieved 
the mind turns of its own accord to another subject, but when sup- 
pressed it is unable to do this. Personally, in the latter event, I find 
the greatest difficulty in concentrating my thoughts, and mental effort 
becomes painful. Other women have complained to me of the same 
difficulty. I have tried mechanical mental work, such as solving arith- 
metical or algebraic problems, but it does no good; in fact, it seems 
only to increase the excitement. (I may remark here that my feelings 
are always very strong not only before and after the monthly period, 
but also during the time itself; very unfortunately, as, of course, they 
cannot then be gratified. This only applies to desire from within, as 
I am strongly susceptible to influences from without at any time.) 
There seems nothing to be done but to bow to the storm till it passes 
over. Anything I do during the time it lasts, even household work, 
is badly done. The brain seems to become addled for the time bein<* 


while after gratification of desire it seems to uttain an additional 
quickness and cleverness. Perhaps this cause contributes to the small 
amount of intellectual and artistic work done by women, admitting 
their natural inferiority to men in artistic impulse. A woman whose 
passions are satisfied generally has her strength sapped by maternity, 
while her attention is drawn from abstract ideas to her children." 

History III. — B. states that his first sexual thoughts and acts 
were curiously connected with whipping. At 12 he and another boy 
used to beat each other with a cricket bat upon the bare nates, and 
afterward indulge in mutual masturbation. He cannot remember the 
beginning of his sexual speculation as a child, nor how he learned mas- 
turbation. When he was 13 he used to discuss erotic matters with a 
.schoolfellow who was in the habit of engaging in vulvar intercourse 
with a girl of his own age. The intercourse was practised on the way 
home from school, and in » standing posture. B. embraced the girl in 
the same way. He is not interested in the psychological aspects of the 
sexual emotion. Although his sex passion was early kindled, he never 
had commerce with prostitutes. He thinks that his youthful experi- 
ences had no ill effect upon him morally, mentally, or physically. He 
practised masturbation in moderation till he married, at the age of 31. 

History IV. — "I can remember" (writes the subject) "trotting 
away as a youngster about 5 with another boy to 'see a girl's legs'; the 
idea emanated from the other boy, but I was vaguely interested. How or 
where we were going to see the object in question I do not remember 
nor anything further than the intention. When 6 or 7 I remember being 
put to bed with the nurse girl and feeling her bare arm with undoubted 
sexual excitement; I remember, too, gradually feeling along the arm 
very cautiously, fearing the girl would wake and being bitterly disap- 
pointed to find it was merely the arm. I am almost certain I had then 
no idea of sex, but the disappointment was actual. 

"These are the only early experiences of the sort I can remember. 
When about 9 I had others. On the coast of the north of England, which 
had then very few visitors and seemed to me very remote, I lived in a 
farm-house and used to assist the girls of the farm in looking after 
young cattle. These girls certainly instilled sexual ideas, though I did 
not realize them with precision. They used to talk about things a good 
many of which, I can now see, I did not then understand as they 
did. I liked to see these girls wading with their dresses tucked up. 
About this time I fell passionately in love with a girl cousin, but do not 
remember having any sensual ideas in regard to her. I cannot say that 
these early experiences had any influence on my later sexual develop- 
ment so far as I am consciously aware. I have always remembered them 
"vaguely, never with sexual excitement. 



"Sexual dreams took place first at about the age of 13; there was 
then emission and sensation in sleep. These were, however, not much 
associated with distinctly sexual dreams. All that I recall after them 
was the sensation, which, however, I did not even then absolutely local- 
ize. Masturbation was undoubtedly the direct result of these dreams. 
It was tried at first tentatively, out of curiosity to determine if the sen- 
sation of the dream could be so reproduced. Sexual dreams, such as I 
have described, occurred frequently, although I cannot say at what 
interval. I have never experienced the slightest attraction for the same 

History V. — "Mr maternal grandfather" (writes the subject of 
this history) "was a small farmer who kept a few beagles and grey- 
hounds for hare-hunting. He had three daughters, one of whom be- 
came my mother. One of his sporting companions, a doctor of prof- 
ligate habits and a drunkard, seduced my mother at the age of 20. 
When her condition was discovered she had to flee from the violence 
of her father, and I was born some distance from her home. After my 
grandfather's death I was reared by my grandmother, and saw nothing 
of my mother until I was nearly 16; she had left the country in shame 
and disgrace. 

"I believe that in my heredity the transmission comes chiefly from 
my mother, who is now 5S years old. Although her life has been blame- 
less in every particular since her youthful indiscretion, she has never 
got over it. I feel in my character a reflection of her overstrung condi- 
tion during pregnancy. 

"I can distinctly remember from the age of 9 years, and am sure 
that I had no sexual feelings before the age of 13, though always in 
the company of girls. I had many boyish passions for girls, always 
older than myself, but these were never accompanied by sexual desires. 
I deified all my sweethearts, and was satisfied if I got a flower, a 
handkerchief, or even a shred of clothing of my inamorata for the time 
being. These things gave me a strange idealistic emotion, but caused 
no sexual desire or erection. 

"At 13 a 26-year-old sister of a boy companion once sat down on 
a sheaf of corn so as to expose the mons veneris and enticed me to 
populate. There was slight erection, and after the act had been con- 
tinued some time a pleasurable sensation of ejaculation, but without 
true emission. I had frequent relations with this woman after that. 

"About this time the farm servant of a neighbor taught me mastur- 
bation. The mistress of the farm, a, thin, willowy, dark woman, the 
mother of several children, treated me with such familiarity as once to 
urinate in my presence, so that I saw her very hirsute mons veneris. 
From that moment I conceived a great passion for her, and used to 


tremble as soon as I saw her. I had become well developed and virile, 
but, though I think she was a lustful woman, I never ventured to touch 
her. I found an extreme ecstasy in masturbating while gazing upon 
some article of her clothing. This gave me much greater sexual pleas- 
ure than actual connection with the ever-willing sister of my school- 
fellow. I think I loved the married woman best because the mons 
veneris was more covered with hair. 

"This has always had a peculiar attraction for me. Later, when 
accosted by prostitutes, I never would go with them unless I was as- 
sured the mons veneris was very hirsute. Kever much addicted to 
masturbation, I derived no great enjoyment therefrom unless I had 
hair or part of the clothing of the woman with whom I was indulging 
in psychic coitus. 

"At 16 I left school and went to a. large city to learn a business. 
At this time the sexual appetite was very strong. I frequently had 
intercourse with three women in one evening. 

"I have had but few lascivious dreams. In these the phantom 
partner was almost invariably a dead woman. (When about 8 I had 
seen the dead body of an aunt who died at 24.) 

"When 20 I went to London and took all the pleasure which came 
my way. I eared only for normal coitus. Offers of another type created 
disgust. I once allowed a woman to exhaust me sexually orally, but 
felt degraded thereby. Women with whom I had become very intimate 
often urged me to curmilingus, but I could not do it. I have practised 
intermammary coitus a very few times. 

"At 26 I married a pure, gentle woman, after having for ten 
months before marriage led » life of celibacy. My wife died when I 
was 30, and for about eight months I lived a celibate life. Lascivious 
dreams sometimes occurred, but I invariably awoke before ejaculation. 
Eventually I gave way to the cravings of my strong sexual nature, but 
never wished for anything out of the usual except intercourse from be- 
hind. A woman with marked development of the nates has great at- 
traction for me. Solitary masturbation has for some time ceased, but 
a. nude woman in the act of masturbation with her back to me gives 
me great pleasure. I am as strong sexually at 38 as I was at 20, 
only I never want women unless I am brought into actual contact 
with them and they are hairy and have large pelvic development. I 
am in excellent health. Genitals are well developed, and I am clothed 
with hair from the chin to the genitals. My skull is dolichocephalic. I 
am violent and tenacious in temper, high-strung, and rapid in thought 
and action. My digestion is good, but I have a tendency to constipation. 
Occasionally I have a twinge of pain below the occipital region. 


"My early views of women have changed; I no longer deify them, 
though I study them. I have known very sensual women living at 
home in respectable middle-class society. One, in particular, a girl of 
18, after coitus used to excite me lingually. I have had a sweetheart 
who remained virgo intacta. Had I seduced her, as I could have done, 
I should have lost all interest in her. I could never bear the presence 
of naked men, and would never go to a public swimming bath for that 
reason. I regard myself as a man of abnormally strong, but, on the 
whole, healthy and wholesome, sexual feelings. As a rule, I have coitus 
twice or oftener in one week and I practise withdrawal. I am a. total 
abstainer, and never could embrace a woman who smelled of drink." 

History VI. — The writer of the following is a man of letters, 
married. "Quite early I remember a strange and romantic interest 
in the feminine. Certainly before I was 9 I had a strong affection 
for a little girl playmate; our family lost sight of hers, and I saw 
and heard nothing of her for sixteen years; then, hearing she was com- 
ing to town, I experienced quite a flutter of heart, so strong had been 
the impression caused at even the early age of our acquaintance. Not 
that I mean to say I never wavered in between! Through the whole 
of my boyhood I remember persistent romantic interests in girls and 
women, whose smooth, fair faces and sweet voices exercised ever a. 
subtle attraction over me. Before I was 12 I had picked out my 'future 
wife' a dozen times at least ! ( A different one each time of course ! ) 
Curiosity as to the physical detail of sex and birth was singularly ab- 
sent. Possibly this was partly due to the fact that the only younger 
member of our family was born when I was but 4 years old. Grave, 
shy, and reserved, I was never taken into the counsels of prurient 
schoolmates. I was unaware that there was such discussion between 
them — though it is, I suppose, not probable that our school was exempt. 
I was a great reader, and when about 12 or 13 I came across a refer- 
ence to an illegitimate child which puzzled me. Ere long, however, in 
my random and extensive reading I hit on a book that touched on 
phallicism, and I learned that there were male and female organs of 
generation. I had neither shame nor curiosity; I jumped to the conclu- 
sion that during close caresses somehow a subtle aroma arose from the 
man to fertilize the woman; I left the subject at this, satisfied, and 
had no inkling of the real intimacy of the embrace. 

"About 14, much interested in Bradlaugh, I bought both the 
Knowlton pamphlet and ilrs. Besant's population book. I found the 
physical details in scientific language so dull that I could not peruse 
them. By reading the argumentative passages I learned that somehoio 
(I knew not how) children could be produced or not produced as de- 


sired; and in this stage of the matter it seemed to me so admirable 
that it should be so that I wondered why there should be cavil. 

"About this age my elder brother believed it to be his duty to 
tell me the secrets of sex; I remember his talking to me, while I, bored 
and uninterested, thought of something else. When he finished I had 
heard nothing. Remember, I felt no shame on the matter — none at all. 
I was simply bored. This I attribute to two things: first, my pre- 
ponderating interest in the romantic side of things; secondly (and this 
bears with it a strong moral), the feeling that the knowledge lay always 
within my grasp kept me from that curiosity which so oft consumes those 
icho think it is hidden away from them. 

"The changes of puberty came naturally and without startling 
me. Even the fact of emissions — which took place during sleep at in- 
tervals, unaccompanied by dreams or by any physical prostration after- 
ward — has left on my memory no recollection of surprise; I knew it 
to be somehow connected with generation, but I had no physical trouble, 
and I am quite sure I did not bother further about it. The best pos- 
sible proof of this lies in the fact that my memory is a blank on the 
matter. At the age of 21 (I take this from a, diary, so I know it is 
correct) I was still ignorant as to intrinsic fact. Then I pulled myself 
together and felt it was really time I learned the actual details of the 
matter. I went to a clever friend of mine and asked him to tell me 
all about it. He expressed himself astounded at my not knowing; and 
he had very great shyness about telling me. In fact, I had to drag 
facts out of him by a real cross-examination, during which he persist- 
ently marveled at my ignorance. Though he had a great deal of false 
shame about the matter, I had none at all. His revelations considerably 
surprised me, because I had no idea that there was actual intromission. 
When I came to reflect on what I had learned the fact of this close 
physical intimacy appealed to me as being quite poetic and beautiful 
between two lovers; and I have had no reason since to change my 

"Summary. — 1. Romantic interest in girls and women commencing 
early and remaining persistently. 

"2. Knowledge before puberty of the fact that this interest was 
based on the all-important process of reproduction. 

"3. Absence of further physical curiosity even at puberty itself. 

"4. Knowledge ultimately acquired without shock. 

"The physical in sex has never been any bother to me, neither 
have I bothered about it. I have recognized it, frankly, and don't see 
why I shouldn't, but my unashamed recognition has probably been be- 
cause the merely physical is less absorbing to me than to most. Mental 
and emotional interest in passion has absorbed me greatly, but the 


merely physical has sunk into what I call its natural place of sub- 
ordination. Nature is kind. It is our 'conspiracy of silence' which 
tends to emphasize physical detail." 

Histobt VII. — G. D., who is a doctor and a man of science, writes : 
"There is a strong history of gout on the paternal side. No history 
of alcohol, tubercle, brain trouble, or of the arthropathies. There is 
some reason to believe that two of my maternal aunts were sexually 
frigid, and perhaps this was true to a less extent of my mother, who 
had a contracted pelvis, necessitating the induction of labor at the 
eighth month of pregnancy. 

"About the age of 7 a German nursery governess, B., took charge 
of me, and I soon became devoted to her. I was then a delicate child, 
and used to suffer frequently from nightmare, waking up screaming 
and covered with sweat. When this happened, B. would sometimes take 
me into her bed and soothe me with kisses, etc. These I returned, and 
can remember that I was particularly fond of kissing her breasts. 

"About this time a girl cousin, A., about a year older than myself, 
was one of my most frequent playmates. I endeavored to monopolize 
her company and attention, and on this account often came to blows 
with C, a cousin rather j-ounger than myself, who has since told me 
that he was then 'in love' with A. and 'jealous' of me. I believe I 
was really jealous and in love at the time, but cannot remember that 
anything in the nature of caresses took place between A. and myself. 

"Some time later, probably when I was about 9, something led 
up to B. saying that she was not built like I was, that she had no 
penis, etc. (I cannot remember my nursery term for penis.) I was 
incredulous, and demanded to be allowed to see if it was true; this 
was refused, and I made many plans to gratify my curiosity, such as 
slipping into her room when she was dressing, tipping up the chair she 
was sitting in, and trying to suddenly thrust my hand up under her 
skirts. I did not succeed in finding out, but have since thought that, 
although she did not allow me to attain the object of my efforts, the 
later game caused her pleasurable sensations. I regard these efforts as 
being prompted purely by curiosity; I had no feelings of warmth or 
irritations of the genitals, and I certainly never manipulated them, nor 
was I, as far as I can judge, an unusually prurient small boy. B. left 
when I was about 10, when I went to a preparatory school. 

"At li 1 ^ I was sent to a public school, and was then told by my 
father the chief facts of sex and warned to avoid masturbation. My 
first wet dream took place when I was 14. Rather before this I had 
begun to • suffer with severe intermittent testicular neuralgia which 
practically defied all" treatment and continued on and off for four or 
five years, the attacks gradually becoming fewer and less severe. 


"When 15, circumstances compelled me to leave school and to live 
for two years at the seaside with no companions of my own age. I 
had, however, the run of a well-stocked library, and fished and collected 
insects energetically. 

"At 16 I made love to the trained nurse attending my mother, 
but, owing more, I think, to my timidity than to the austerity of her 
virtue, got no further than kissing. About this time wet dreams be- 
came inconveniently frequent; they would occur three or four times 
weekly, and resisted the stock remedies. At 17 I was advised to try 
connection. This I did, and found but little pleasure in the act, there 
being a strong esthetic objection to the 'love that keeps awake for 

"About this time I found in the United States Pharmacopceia a, 
remedy for my emissions, which have, however, always remained rather 
more frequent than those of the average individual, judging from the 
experience of my friends. Emissions are generally accompanied by 
lascivious dreams, but at times take place when I dream that I am 
hurrying to catch a, train, or to micturate against time. 

"I have of late years (not noticed till after 20) observed that the 
dream accompanying emission is shorter; so that, whereas up to, say, 
21 I generally performed the whole physiological act with my dream- 
charmer, I now almost invariably emit and awake before intromission 
has taken place. There has been no alternation comparable to this in 
the performance of the act while I am awake. 

"As regards my physique I should mention that all my reflexes 
are very brisk, though I am only slightly ticklish in the ordinary sense 
of the term. I sweat easily and am very shy, not only with women, 
but with any strangers. I have, however, trained myself not to show 
this. About averagely passionate, I should say, and extremely critical 
where women are concerned, the latter quality often keeping me chaste 
for months at a time." 

History VIII. — "When I was about 8 years old" (states the lady 
who is the subject of the present obs_ervation ) "I remember that, with 
several other children, we used to play in an old garden at being father 
and mother, unfastening our drawers and bringing the sexual parts to- 
gether, as we imagined married people to do, but no sexual feelings 
were aroused, nor did the boys have erections." When about 10 years 
old she became conscious of a pleasurable sensation associated with 
the smell of leather, which has ever since persisted. At that age she 
was sometimes left to wait in the office of a, wholesale business house 
full of leather-bound ledgers. She did not then notice the sensation 
particularly, and was certainly not conscious of any connection with 
sexual emotion. Menstruation was established at 13% years. Distinct 


sexual feelings were first observed a few months later. 'The first feel- 
ings of lore which I ever felt were at the age of 14 for a nice, manly 
boy of my own age, who often came to our house. He liked me, but 
was not in love with me. It was very seldom that he would sit by me 
and hold my hand, as I wished him. This went on till I was about 17, 
when he went to the university. After his first term he came back and 
was then attracted to me; but, though I loved him very much, I was 
too proud to show it. When he tried to kiss me, I resisted, though I 
longed for it. Thinking I was greatly offended, he apologized, which 
only made me angry. All these years I was worshiping at his shrine 
and mixed him up with all my ideas of life." Whenever she was near 
him she experienced physical sensations, with moistening of the vulva. 
This continued till she was about 20, but the object of these emotions 
never again attempted any advances. 

At 19 she became engaged to someone else. At the beginning 
she was physically indifferent to her lover, but when he first kissed her 
she became greatly excited. The engagement, however, was soon broken 
off from absence of strong affection on either side and chiefly, it would 
seem, from the cooling of the lover's ardor. She thinks he would have 
been more strongly attached to her if she had been colder to him, or 
pretended to be, instead of responding with simplicity and frankness. 

During the next few years little occurred. She was working hard, 
and her amusements would mostly, she says, be regarded as rather 
childish. She was extremely fond of dancing, and she was alwavs 
pleased when anyone paid her attention. She was frequently conscious 
of sexual feelings, sometimes tormented by them, and she regarded 
this as something to be ashamed of. The constant longing for love was 
affected little or not at all by hard work. "At about this time I was 
very fond of abandoning myself to day-dreams. I was very glad if I 
could get everyone out of the house and lie on an easy chair or the 
bed. I liked especially to read poetry, all the more if I did not quite 
understand it. This would lead me on to all sorts of dreams of love, 
which, however, never went beyond the preliminaries of actual love — 
as that was all I then knew of love." The only climax to her dream 
of love was founded on a piece of information volunteered by a married 
woman many years earlier, when she was about 12. This lady — evi- 
dently agreeing with Rousseau (who in Emlle commended the mother"s 
reply to the child's query whence babies come, "Les femmes les pissent, 
mon enfant, avec des grands douleurs") that the unknown should first 
be explained to the young in terms of the known — told her that the 
husband micturated into the wife. She therefore used to imagine a 
lover who would bear her away into a forest and do this on her as 
she lay at the foot of a tree. (At a later date she accidental! v dis- 


covered that a full bladder tended to enhance sexual feelings, and 
occasionally resorted to this physical measure of heightening excite- 
ment.) All the physical sensations of sexual desire were called out by 
these day-dreams, with abundant secretion, but never the orgasm. Her 
reveries never led to masturbation or to allied manifestations, which 
have never taken place. Such a method of relief has, indeed, never 
offered any temptation to her and she doubts even its possibility in her 
case. (At a later period of life, however, at the age of 31, masturbation 
began and was practised at intervals.) At the same time she remarks 
that, while no orgasm (of which, indeed, she was then ignorant) ever 
occurred, the sexual excitement produced by the day-dreams was suffi- 
ciently great to cause a feeling of relief afterward. These day-dreams 
were the only way in which the sexual erethism was discharged. She 
cannot recall having erotic dreams or any sexual manifestations during 

Spontaneous sexual excitement was present a, few days before 
menstruation, and fairly marked during and immediately after the 
period. It also tended to recur in the middle of the intermenstrual 

The pleasurable sensation connected with the smell of leather 
became more marked as she approached adult age. It was especially 
pronounced about the age of 24, and the sexual emotion it produced 
(with moisture of the vulva) was then clearly conscious. No other 
odor produced this effect in such a marked degree. It was often asso- 
ciated with leather bags, but not with boots, though on rubbing the 
leather of shoes she found that this odor was given out. She cannot 
account for its origin, and doss not connect any association with it. It 
never affected her conduct or led to fetichistic habits. 

Some other odors affect her in the same way, though not to the 
same degree as leather. This is more especially the case with some 
flowers, especially white flowers with heavy odors, like gardenias. Many 
flowers, on the other hand, like primroses, seem rather opposed to sex 
effect, too fresh, though stimulating to the mind. Some artificial scents 
tend to produce sexual effects also. Personal odors have no influence 
of this kind. (At a later period the sexual influence of personal odors 
was occasionally experienced, but the present history deals only with 
the period before marriage.) 

She believes that most beautiful things, however unconnected with 
sex, have a tendency to produce distinctively sexual feelings in a faint 
degree, although sometimes more marked, with secretion. She has, how- 
ever, never experienced homosexual feeling, and, on first consideration, 
was inclined to believe that the sight of a beautiful woman had no 
sexual effect on her, though she could quite understand such an effect. 


Subsequently, on recalling as well as observing her experiences more 
carefully, she found that a lovely woman's face and figure (especially 
on one occasion the very graceful figure of a beautiful fairy in a ballet) 
produced distinct sexual sensations (with mucous emission). Music, 
however, has strongly emotional effects upon her, and she cannot recall 
that she ever felt any equally powerful influence of this kind in the 
absence of music. 

Looking back on the development of her feelings she finds that, 
though in some respects they may have been slow, they were simple, 
natural, spontaneous, and correspond to "the dawning and progress 
which go on in the development of every girl. While it is going on 
in actual fact, the girl does not know or bother herself about trying to 
understand it. Afterward it -seems quite clear and simple. Full occupa- 
tion of the brain, and hands too, while it does not do away with desire, 
is a great help and safeguard to a growing girl, when combined with 
proper information about herself and her relation to man the animal, 
so that she may realize where she is and how to choose the right man 
— though under the best conditions failure may occur." 

Histobt IX. — The subject belongs to a large family having some 
neurotic members; she spent her early life on a large farm. She is 
vigorous and energetic, has intellectual tastes, and is accustomed to 
think for herself, from unconventional standpoints, on many subjects. 
Her parents were very religious, and not, she thinks, of sensual tem- 
perament. Her own early life was free from associations of a sexual 
character, and she can recall little that now seems to be significant in 
this respect. She remembers that in childhood and for some time later 
she believed that children were born through the navel. Her activities 
went chiefly into humanitarian and Utopian directions, and she cherished 
ideas of a large, healthy, free life, untrammeled by civilization. She 
regards herself as very passionate, but her sexual emotions appear to 
have developed very slowly and have been somewhat intellectualized. 
After reaching adult life she has formed several successive relationships 
with men to whom she has been attracted by affinity in temperament, 
in intellectual views, and in tastes. These relationships have usually 
been followed by some degree of disillusion, and so have been dissolved. 
She does not believe in legal marriage, though under fitting circum- 
stances she would much like to have a child. 

She never masturbated until the age of 27. At that time a mar- 
ried friend told her that such a thing could be done. She found it gave 
her decided pleasure, indeed, more than coitus had ever given her ex- 
cept with one man. She has never practised it to excess, only at rare 
intervals, and is of the opinion that it is decidedly beneficial when thus 
moderately indulged in. She has sometimes found, for instance, that, 


after the mental excitement produced by delivering ti lecture, sleep 
would be impossible if masturbation were not resorted to as a sedative 
to relieve the tension. 

Spontaneous sexual excitement is strongest just before the monthly 

Definite sexual dreams and sexual excitement during sleep have 
not occurred except possibly on one or two occasions. 

She has from girlhood experienced erotic day-dreams, imagining 
love-stories of which she herself was the heroine; the climax of these 
stories has developed with her own developing knowledge of sexual 

She is not inverted, and has never been in love with a woman. 
She finds, however, that a beautiful woman is distinctly a, sexual ex- 
citation, calling out definite physical manifestations of sexual emotion. 
She explains this by saying that she thinks she instinctively puts her- 
self in the place of a man and feels as it seems to her a man would feel. 

She finds that music excites the sexual emotions, as well as many 
scents, whether of flowers, the personal odor of the beloved person, or 
artificial perfumes. 

History X. — The subject is of German extraction on both sides. 
The father is of marked intellectual tastes, as also is she herself. There 
is no unhealthy strain in the family so far as she is aware, though they 
all have very strong passions. She is well developed, healthy, vigorous, 
and athletic, any trouble to which she is subject being mainly due to 

Looking back on her childhood, she can now see various sexual 
manifestations occurring at a period when she was quite ignorant of sex 
matters. "The veiy first," she writes, "was at the age of 6. I re- 
member once sitting astride a, banister while my parents were waiting 
for me outside. I distinctly remember a pleasurable sensation — prob- 
ably in part due to a, physical feeling — in the thought of staying there 
when I knew I ought to have run out to them. From that year till 
the age of 10 I simply reveled in the idea of being tortured. I went 
gladly to bed every night to imagine myself a slave, chained, beaten, 
made to carry loads and do ignominious work. One of my imaginings, 
I remember, was that I was chained to a moldering skeleton.'' As 
she grew older these fancies were discontinued. At the same time there 
was a trace of sadistic tendency: "I used to frighten and tease a young 
child, driven to it by an irresistible impulse, and experiencing a certain 
pleasurable feeling in so doing. But this, I am-glad to say, was rare, 
as I hate all cruelty.'' 

One of her favorite imaginings as a child was that she was a boy, 
and especially that she was a knight rescuing damsels in distress. She 


was not fond of girls' occupations, and has always had a sort of chiv- 
alrous feeling toward women. 

"When I first heard of the sexual act,'' she writes, "it appeared 
to me so absurd that I took little notice. About the age of 10 I dis- 
cussed it a good deal with other girls, and we used to play childishly 
indecent games — out of pure mischief and not from any definite physical 

About a year after menstruation was established she accidentally 
discovered the act of masturbation by leaning over a table. "I dis- 
covered it naturally; no one taught me; and the very naturalness of 
the impulse that led me to it often made me in later years question 
the harmfulness." Both her sisters masturbated from a very early age, 
but not, to her knowledge, her brother. The practice of masturbation 
was continued. "For many years, imbued with the old ideas of moral- 
ity, I struggled against it in vain. The sight of animals copulating, 
the perusal of various books (Shakespeare, Rabelais, Gautier's Made- 
moiselle de Maupiii, etc.), the sight of the nude in some Bacchanalian 
pictures (such as Rubens's), all aroused passion. Coexistent with this 
■ — perhaps (though I doubt it) due to it — arose a disgust for normal 
intercourse. I fell in love and enjoyed kisses, etc., but the mere thought 
of anything beyond disgusted me. Had my lover suggested such a 
thing I would have lost all love for him. But all this time I went on 
masturbating, though as seldom as possible and without thought of my 
lover. Love was to me a thing ideal and quite apart from lust, and I 
still think that it is false to try to connect the two. I fear that even 
now, if I fell in love, sexual intercourse would break the charm. At 
the age of 18 I came across Tolstoy's Kreutscr Sonata and was over- 
joyed to find all I had thought written down there. Gradually, through 
seeing a friend happily married, I have grown to a more normal view 
of things. I am very critical of men and have never met one liberal- 
minded and just enough to please me. Perhaps if I did I might take a 
perfectly healthy view of things." 

In course of time various devices had been adopted to heighten 
sexual excitement when indulging in masturbation. Thus, for instance, 
she found that the effects of sexual excitement are increased by keep- 
ing the bladder full. But the chief method which she had devised for 
heightening and prolonging the preliminary excitement consisted in 
wearing tight stays (as a rule, she wears loose stays) and in painting 
her face. She cannot herself explain this. Self-exeitement is completed 
by friction, or sometimes by the introduction of a piece of wood into 
the vagina. She finds that, the more frequently she masturbates, the 
more easily she is excited. Spontaneous sexual feeling is strongest before 
and after the menstrual period; not so much so during the periods. 


There are various faint traces of homosexuality, it may be gath- 
ered, in the history of this subject's sexual development. Recently theso 
have come to a climax in the formation of a homosexual relationship 
with a girl friend. This relationship has given "her great pleasure and 
satisfaction. She does not, however, regard herself as being a really 
inverted person. 

There have been vivid sexual dreams from about 17 (apparently 
about the period of the relationship with the lover). These dreams 
have not, however, had special reference to persons of either sex. 

Apart from the influence of books and pictures already mentioned, 
she remarks that she is sexually affected by the personal odor of a 
beloved person, but is not consciously affected by any other odors. 

Histoky XI. — Widower, aged 40 years. Surgeon. "My experience 
of sexual matters began early. When I was about 10 years of age a 
boy friend who was staying with us told me that his sister made him 
uncover his person, with which she played and encouraged him to do 
the same for her. He said it was great fun, and suggested that we 
should take two of my sisters into an old barn and repeat his experi- 
ence on them. This we did, and tried all we could to have connection 
with them; they were nothing loath and did all they could to help us, 
but nothing was effected and I experienced no pleasure in it. 

"When I went back to school I attracted the attention of one of 
the big boys who slept in the same room with me; he came into my 
bed and began to play with my member, saying that it was the usual 
thing to do and would give me pleasure. I did not feel any pleasure, 
but I liked the attention, and rather enjoyed playing with his member, 
which was of large size, and surrounded by thick pubic hair. After I 
had played with him for some time I was surprised at his having an 
emission of stioky matter. Afterward he rubbed me again, saying that 
if I let him do it long enough he would produce the same substance 
from me. This he failed to do, however, though he rubbed me long and 
frequently, on that and many other occasions. I was very disappointed 
at not being able to have an emission, and on every occasion that offered 
I endeavored to excite myself to the extent of compassing this. I used 
to ask to go out of school two or three times a day, and retired to the 
closet, where I practised on myself most diligently, but to no purpose, 
at that time, though I began to have pleasurable emotions in the act. 

"When I went home for the holidays I took a great interest in 
one of my father's maids, whose legs I felt as she ran upstairs one day. 
I was in great fear that she would complain of what I had done, but 
I was delighted to find that she did nothing of the sort; on the con- 
trary, she took to kissing and fondling me, calling me her sweetheart 
and saying that I was a forward boy.' This encouraged me greatly, and 


I was not long in getting to more intimate relations with. her. She 
called me into her room one day when we were alone in the house, she 
being in a half-dressed condition, and put me on the bed and laid herself 
on me, kissing me passionately on the mouth. She next unbuttoned 
my trousers and fondled and kissed my member, and directed my hand 
to her privates. I became very much excited and trembled violently, 
but was able to do for her what she wanted in the way of masturba- 
tion until she became wet. After this we had many meetings in which 
we embraced and she let me introduce my member until she had satisfied 
herself, though I was too young to have an emission. 

"On return to school I practised mutual masturbation with several 
of my schoolfellows, and finalty, at the age of 14 years, had my first 
real emission. I was greatly pleased thereat, and, with this and the 
growth of hair which began to show on my pubis, began to feel myself 
quite a man. I loved lying in the arms of another boy, pressing against 
his body, and fondling his person and being fondled by him in return. 
We always finished up with mutual masturbation. We never indulged 
in any unnatural connections. 

"After leaving school I had no opportunity of indulging in rela- 
tions with my own sex, and, indeed, did not wish for such, as I became 
a slave to the charms of the other sex, and passed most of my time in 
either enjoying, or planning to enjoy, love passages with them. 

"The sight of a woman's limbs or bust, especially if partly hidden 
by pretty underclothing, and the more so if seen by stealth, was suffi- 
cient to give a lustful feeling and a violent erection, accompanied by 
palpitation of the heart and throbbing in the head. 

"I had frequent coitus at the age of 17, as well as masturbating 
regularly. I liked to perform masturbation on a girl, even more than 
I liked having connection with her; and this was especially so in the 
case of girls who had never had masturbation practised on them before; 
I loved to see the look of surprised pleasure appear on their faces as 
they felt the delightful and novel sensation. 

"To gratify this desire I persuaded dozens of girls to allow me to 
take liberties with them, and it would surprise you to learn what a 
number of girls, many of them in good social position, permitted me 
the liberty I desired, though the supply was never equal to my demand. 

"With a view to enlarging my opportunities I took up the study 
of medicine as a profession, and reveled in the chances it gave of being 
on intimate sexual terms with many who would have been, otherwise, 
out of my reach. 

"At the age of 25 I married the daughter of an officer, a beautiful 
girl with a fully developed figure and an amorous disposition. While 
engaged, we used to pass hours wrapped in each other's arms, practising 


mutual masturbation, or I would kiss her passionately on the mouth, 
introducing my tongue into her mouth at intervals, with the invariable 
result that I had an emission and she went off into sighs and shivers. 
After marriage we practised all sorts of fancy coitus, coitus rescrvatus, 
etc., and rarely passed twenty-four hours without two conjunctions, 
until she got far on in the family way, and our play had to cease for 
a while. 

"During this interval I went to stay at the house of an old school- 
fellow, who had been one of my lovers of days gone by. It happened 
that on account of the number of guests staying in the house the bed 
accommodation was somewhat scanty, and I agreed to share my friend's 
bedroom. The sight of his naked body as he undressed gave rise to 
lustful feelings in me; and when he had turned out the light I stole 
across to his bed and got in beside him. He made no objection, and 
we passed the night in mutual masturbation and embraces, coitus inter 
femora, etc. I was surprised to find how much I preferred this state 
of affairs to coitus with my wife, and determined to enjoy the occasion 
to the full. We passed a fortnight together in the above fashion, and, 
though I afterward went back and did my duty by my wife, I never 
took the same pleasure in her again, and when she died, five years later, 
I felt no inclination to contract another marriage, but devoted myself 
heart and soul to my old school-friend, with whom I continued tender 
relations until his death by accident last year. Since then I have lost all 
interest in life." 

"The patient," writes the well-known alienist to whom I am in- 
debted for the above history, "consulted me lately. I found him a fairly 
healthy man to look at, suffering from some neurasthenia and a tendency 
to melancholia. Generative organs large, one testicle shows some wast- 
ing, pubic hair abundant, form of body distinctly masculine; tempera- 
ment neurotic. He improved under treatment, and, after seeing me 
three times and writing out the above history, came ho more." 

Histoet XII. — Mrs. B., aged 32. Father's family normal; 
mother's family clever, eccentric, somewhat neuropathic. She is her- 
self normal, good-looking, usually healthy, highly intelligent, and with 
much practical ability, though at some periods of life, and especially 
in childhood, she has shared to some extent in the high-strung and 
supersensitive temperament of her mother's family. As a child she was 
sometimes spoiled and sometimes cuffed, and suffered tortures from 
nervousness. She has, however, acquired a large measure of self- 

The first sensations which she now recognizes as sexual were ex- 
perienced at the age of 3, when her mother gave her an injection; after- 
ward she declared herself unable to relieve her bowels naturally in 


order to obtain a, repetition of this experience, which was several times 
repeated. At the age of 7 a man pursued her with, attentions and at- 
tempted to take liberties, but she rejected his advances in terror; four 
years later another man attempted to assault her, but she resisted 
vigorously, struck him, and escaped by running. Xeither of these sexual 
attempts appears to have left any serious permanent impression on the 
child's mind. 

At the age of 11, when her mother was giving her a bath, the 
sensation of her mother's fingers touching her private parts gave her 
what she now knows to be sexual feelings, and a year later when taking 
her bath she would pour hot water on to the sexual region in order to 
cause these sensations; this did not lead to masturbation, but she had 
a vague idea that it was "wrong." 

At the age of 12 menstruation began; she suffered very severely 
from dysmenorrhea, the period sometimes lasting for ten days, and the 
pain being often extreme. She was not treated for this condition, her 
mother being of opinion that she would outgrow it. From the age of 
14 or 15 until 23, or about the period of her marriage, she suffered 
from anemia. 

She had little curiosity about sexual matters; her mother wished 
that she should always come to her for information about things she 
became acquainted with as to the general facts of sex; she did not, 
however, know definitely the facts of copulation until her marriage. She 
knew nothing of erection or semen, and thought that when a man and 
woman placed their organs together a child resulted. She hated talking 
about these subjects indecently, and would not listen to the sexual con- 
versation of her schoolfellows. She never felt any homosexual attrac- 
tion. Once another girl was much in love with her, but she despised 
and disliked her attentions; again, when a girl much older than herself, 
a friend of her mother's, slept with her and made advances, she repelled 
her and refused to sleep with her again. 

She always got on well with men, and men were attracted to her. 
She was direct and sincere, without undue modesty. But she never 
allowed men to touch her or kiss her. She was a good dancer, and 
fond of dancing, but denies that it ever led to sexual feelings. She 
never felt any sexual attraction for a man until, at the age of 20, she 
fell in love with her future husband five years or more before marriage. 

At this period she began to feel vague discomfort, which she knew 
to be localized near her sexual organs. She was aware, in a dim way, 
that it was connected with her love, and was of a sexual nature. But 
there was no definite idea of sexual intercourse. She felt nervous and 
depressed. If she had been asked to state what would relieve her, she 
could only have said B.'s presence and tenderness. A few days before 


he declared liis love she experienced the nearest approach to sexual 
feeling she had ever had. It was summer and, with B. and some of her 
family, she had gone on a little expedition. One evening, in the train 
after a day's excursion, B. took her hand (unperceived by the others) 
and held it for some time. This aroused the strongest emotions in her; 
she closed her eyes, and, though she was not at the time aware that her 
sensations were localized in her sexual organs, she thinks, in the light 
of subsequent knowledge, that she then experienced the orgasm. 

During the engagement, which lasted between two and three years, 
circumstances prevented frequent meetings. B. would kiss her, suck 
her nipples, which became erect, and lie on her. She allowed him to 
take these liberties, feeling that if she refused him all satisfaction he 
might have relations with other women. She still felt no definite 
desire for contact of the sexual organs. She longed rather to be em- 
braced and kissed, and to lie in her lover's arms all night. A few 
months before marriage, however, she masturbated occasionally, just 
before or just after menstruation, imagining, while doing it, that she 
was in her lover's arms. The act was usually followed by a sick 
feeling. Just before marriage she underwent an operation for the 
relief of the dysmenorrhea. She was somewhat shocked and sickened 
by the experiences of the wedding night. It seemed to her that her 
husband approached her with the violence of an animal, and there was 
some difficulty in effecting entrance. Coitus, though incomplete, took 
place some seven times on this first night. The bleeding from rupture 
of the hymen continued, so that for two days she had to wear a, .towel. 
For two months subsequently there was great pain during intercourse, 
although she suppressed the indications of this. 

There were several children born of the marriage and for some 
years she lived happily, on the whole, with her husband, notwithstanding 
various hardships and difficulties and some incompatibility of temper. 

As regards her sexual feelings she considers, from what other 
women have told her, that her feelings are, if anything, stronger than 
the average. The orgasm, however, was not fully developed until about 
five years after marriage. Sexual feeling is most pronounced before, 
during, and after the menstrual period, more especially before and about 
the third day ( the period usually lasts from five to seven days ) . There 
is more sexual desire during pregnancy, especially toward the end, than 
at any other time. She never refused normal intercourse to her 
husband, but any abnormal or perverted method of sexual gratification 
is repellent. She was awakened one night about the third month of 
pregnancy by her husband inserting his penis in ore; the child was 
born with palate defect and she is herself inclined to believe that this 
incident was the cause of the defect. Though she desires normal inter- 



course, she has seldom obtained complete gratification. For a long time 
she disliked seeing or touching the penis, and the feel, and especially the 
smell, of the semen produced nausea and even vomiting. (She has a 
very delicate sense of smell as well as of taste; though fond of the 
scent of flowers, no sexual feelings are thus aroused.) Withdrawal and 
the use of condoms are unsatisfactory to her, and mutual masturbation 
gives no relief and produces headache. Feelings of friendship for her 
husband have been most potent in arousing the sexual emotions, and 
she has had most pleasure in intercourse after a. day spent in bicycling 
together. She has been for many months at a time without sexual 
intercourse, and during such periods has suffered much from pain in the 
head; this, however, she has now completely surmounted. She event- 
ually discovered that her husband's abstinence from marital inter- 
course was due to infidelity. This led to a definite separation. She still 
occasionally experiences sexual desire, but has no inclination to mastur- 
bate. Her life is full and busy, affording ample scope for her energies 
and intelligence; moreover, she has her children to train and educate. 
She herself believes that her sexual life is at an end. 

Histobt XIII. — G. R., army officer. "I am 35 years of age. 
My parents married at the ages of 3S and 25, and my father is now S4 
and my mother 71; both are particularly strong and healthy in body 
and mind. I am of old lineage on both sides, and know of no disease, 
defect, or abnormality among any of my ancestors or relations, except 
that my mother's family has a slight tendency to drink and excess, the 
present members of it all being considered eccentric. I have one brother 
and one sister living (brother unmarried, sister with several children) 
and am the youngest of a, family of five. My brother is abnormal, but 
I don't know exactly in what way or from what cause. I have a strong 
suspicion that he masturbates to excess. My father is artistic and 
my mother musical. I have no aptitude for either, but appreciate both 
enormously, though not until about ten years ago. My principal reading 
is religion, science, and philosophy, with an occasional standard novel, 
or a modern novel of the 'improper' type by way of relaxation. I be- 
came a convinced and militant rationalist about five years a°-o, but 
have been an unbeliever since I left school. I was anemic and threatened 
with bowel complaint at the age of 7, and was in consequence taken 
abroad for my health. I am now strong and vigorous, with great 
powers of endurance, and enjoy all forms of sport and exercise,°par- 
ticularly hunting, pig-sticking, and polo. I drink a lot, and am 'never 
fitter than when eating, drinking, and taking exercise in what most 
people would call excess. It takes more alcohol than I can hold to 
make me drunk when in England; but not so in the East. I have been 
told that I am very good-looking. 


"When I was about 4 or 5 I was constantly chaffed by my older 
companions about putting my hand down my trousers and playing with 
my privates. I don't remember getting an erection, nor at what age this 
first occurred with me. At one time my brother and I used to play 
about with my sister's underclothing, and took great pleasure in it, but 
we never saw her genitals. She told us that on carefully examining 
herself one day she was glad to find that she had a small penis like boys 
had — doubtless the clitoris. When in France, at the age of 8 to 10, I 
began to notice the sexual parts of animals, and was very keen to know 
what mares kept between their hind legs. Later on I took great 
pleasure with another boy in feeling the teats of a she-ass, and, by 
myself, the penis of a donkey, as I had seen the French grooms do; but 
I took no interest in my own penis. I used to put my finger as far up 
the anus as it would go, and got a vague satisfaction from it. I went 
to a small private school at the age of 11, having been previously told 
by my mother of the manner of birth of men and animals, of which I 
was quite ignorant till then. She made no mention of the part taken by 
the father, and I never thought about it. Even then I was left with 
the impression that one was born through the navel. I was initiated 
at school, and used to handle the penis of the boy who told me. On 
several occasions I did fellatio for him, and liked it, but he never offered 
to do the same for me, and I don't think he got much satisfaction out 
of it. Soon after this I became conscious of pleasurable sensations 
when lying on my stomach with an erection, and used occasionally to 
gratify myself that way, caring little for the school tradition that it 
was 'wicked' and bad for one. On one occasion, when talking at night 
with another boy, we compared our organs, both in erection, and I then 
for the first time thought of trying what I had heard vaguely mentioned, 
viz., two boys playing at man and woman. I lay on him with my 
penis on his stomach and almost at once had an orgasm with emission, 
and experienced acute pleasure, though both he and I supposed that I 
had involuntarily micturated. I was 13 when this happened. I did it 
once more with him before I left, this time the other way up, so as to 
spare him the unpleasantness. I used to like kissing and hugging the 
smaller boys', and had a great eye for good looks. On going home for 
the holidays I masturbated with my hand out of curiosity to see what 
happened when the orgasm occurred, and then only did I fully under- 
stand the nature of the act. After this the rush and strangeness of a 
large public school distracted my attention, but I heard about wet 
dreams, masturbation, and homosexuality from the other boys, and 
soon became thoroughly initiated. I believe the tone of my house, if not 
of the whole school, was exceptionally bad; though it may only be that 
I saw more of it because I was attracted by it, and that other schools 


are the same really. Things involving certain expulsion if found out 
were done more or less in public, and I have myself openly got into bed 
with or masturbated other boys, and on more than one occasion have 
helped forcibly to masturbate small boys or to hold them while others 
had connection with them, the idea of the last Wo acts being that the 
boy would thereby be seduced and become available for, and willing to 
perform, homosexuality. Before I became big enough to have boys 
myself I masturbated frequently (on one occasion three times in the 
day), and invariably by lying on my stomach without the use of the 
hands. In having connection with other boys I used to do it between 
the thighs or on the stomach, and I never heard of any other way at that 
school. Pcedicaiio would disgust me, and, moreover, would deprive me 
of the principal pleasure of intercourse, viz., the feeling of lying face to 
face and stomach to stomach. Of course, the satisfaction used to be 
mutual, but, though good-looking, I was never the passive party only, 
like some small boys who might be called professionals and whom I 
used to pay for their services. I went back after I had left and had a 
boy in the dark whom I had never seen before, having been told that he 
was all right. I used to have a very genuine affection for any party to 
my pleasure, though I took delight in torturing one in particular, but 
for what reason I cannot say. For one boy I developed a deep love, 
which lasted long after we had left school and had ceased all sexual 
connection. This love was as strong as anything I have ever felt since. 
"I don't remember whether it was while I was at school or later 
that I first began again to take a sexual interest in animals. I used to 
masturbate a good deal and was always trying to find new ways of doing 
it and new substances to lie on. It was while feeling the vulva of a 
young mare that the brilliant thought struck me of trying to copulate 
with her, and thus getting the advantage of the soft vagina. It af- 
forded me great satisfaction and I had an emission, though I did not 
then, nor at any other time with any other animal, succeed in pene- 
trating properly. I afterward did the same with other mares and 
with a, certain cow whenever I got a safe opportunity, which was not as 
often as I could have wished. I have not had connection with an animal 
for about ten years, but would have no objection to doing so, and feel 
sure I could perform the act properly now. After I left school at 17, I 
occasionally had longings for boys, but it was the exception and not the 
rule. I continued to masturbate, but not to excess, and used to make 
ineffectual efforts to stop it, but never succeeded for very long. When 
I was confirmed, at the age of 15, I became intensely religious, and was 
so remorseful at my first lapse from virtue that I burnt my leg with a 
Ted-hot poker, and I bear the scar still. On leaving school I went to 
Germany and there had my first coitus with a woman, a fat old German 


who gave me very little satisfaction. My next, a Jewess, gave me more 
than I asked for, in the shape of a soft chancre. In my ignorance I 
never had it treated, but it must have been very mild, for it disappeared 
of its own accord. When cramming in England I occasionally went 
home with a prostitute, but did not care much about them and could not 
afford good ones. On one occasion I was impotent. It may have been 
through drink, but it disgusted me with myself. I liked seeing the 
women naked, and always insisted that they should strip, especially 
the breasts, which I liked large and full. I had not learned to kiss on 
the lips, and had no desire to kiss the body, except the breasts, which 
I was generally too shy to do. But as I nearly always wore a. condom 
and found penetration difficult I did not much enjoy the actual coitus. 
I am fully convinced that if women had been more accessible, if I had 
not thought myself bound to use preventives in self-defense, and if the 
act had not been looked upon with such disfavor by those in authority 
over me, I should have masturbated less or not at all, and would not 
have been tempted to bestiality. When I was 22 I had coitus with a girl 
who was not a prostitute for the first time. I was violently excited and 
enjoyed it more than anything I had yet experienced, in spite of the 
facts that she would not undress and insisted on withdrawal before 
emission. On one other occasion only have I had coitus with a non- 
professional unmarried woman. Shortly after this I caught syphilis 
from a girl of the streets. I was circumcised and stayed in a private 
hospital for six weeks. It never went beyond the primary stage, and I 
have felt no ill effects from it, except that I have got a hydrocele in 
the right testicle. Of course, this incident necessitated the use of a 
condom on every occasion, and it greatly spoiled my pleasure. About 
this time a brother-officer older than myself made advances to me. He 
compared me to a Greek statue, and wanted to kiss me. I would have 
nothing to do with him, but was glad to have his confessions of 
homosexuality and somewhat surprised to learn that he was not alone 
in the regiment. I afterward fell in love with his sister, and he married 
and had children. He was bisexual in his inclinations, but was really 
in love with me for a short time. 

"I had little to do with professionals until I went to South 
Africa, and though I was fond of ladies' society, and liked by ladies, I 
looked upon them as something apart, especially married women, and 
never attempted to take liberties with them; though I used to with 
shopgirls, etc., in my cramming days, and had often been in love. In ' 
South Africa I first began really to enjoy coitus, and on going to India 
continued to do so; in fact, I thought sexually of nothing else and 
rarely masturbated, — perhaps once in three weeks. I would go to 
brothels wherever they were available, Durban, Cape Town, Colombo, 


Calcutta, Bombay, and at one time preferred black women to white. I 
used to hare horrible orgies with my brother-officers, and on one occasion 
I ordered six women to my bungalow in order to celebrate my birthday, 
and made a present of them to five of my friends after dinner. During 
this period, and until I went home, I rarely spoke to a, lady, the chief 
exception being No. 1, a brother-officer's wjfe, with whom I began to 
be in love. 

"Shortly after the South African War I fell violently in love with 
a young brother-officer, 'Z.' It amounted to a passion and I was forced 
to make overtures to him. He did not understand, being ignorant of 
homosexuality and quite virile, and would have nothing to do with 
me, though he was very nice about it. This lasted for about a. year, 
and then, thinking no doubt that he had better stop it, as I was really 
making mys;lf very ridiculous and was mad with love, he threw me up 
altogether. I was intensely miserable for some time, and then I re- 
covered and we made it up, and are now firm friends. I still want to 
kiss and stroke him when I see him naked, but would do nothing more. 
I went home by way of Japan after several years' absence from home, 
taking the women of the Eastern ports as I went, until I contracted 
gonorrhea in the Tokio Yoshiwara. I could not get rid of it, and ar- 
rived home in that state, having been deprived of the pleasure of trying 
several new races on the way in consequence. In England I rushed 
into a society which I had quit on such different terms, and it received 
me with open arms. I very soon began a flirtation with a married 
woman, and she completed my education in kissing which had been 
begun by the Japanese harlots. I was just coming to the point with thi3 
woman when I met No. 1 again, and my love for her was at once re- 
newed. I told her so, but I knew that she did not return it. I then 
became attracted to No. 2, a girl older than myself, whom I had known 
all my life. I kissed her and fondled her breasts; but she would not 
allow anything else, until one night, when in the train with her, I got 
my hand down farther than she intended. It ended in my performing 
cunnilingus on her first, and then obtaining satisfaction between her 
thighs — a large step to take after the former limitations. Previous to 
this I had on several occasions obtained an emission, without meaning 
to . by lying on her fully dressed. She was aware of my disease, which 
by that time had become a gleet and did not inconvenience me in any 
way. From that time until I went back to India we went through the 
same performance whenever possible, I masturbating her sometimes with 
the finger, sometimes with the tongue, and having connection with 
various parts of her body, including the breasts, but always with a 
condom on account of my disease. She used to strip for my edification, 
and we frequently spent the night in the same bed. I was attracted to 


her mentally, but not very much physically; that is to say, that if cir- 
cumstances had not thrown us together I should never have picked her 
out from other girls as being sexually attractive to me. I returned to 
India, and to Xo. 1, though I kept faithful to No. 2 in word and deed 
for five months, but gradually the overmastering influence of No. 1 
reasserted itself over me. And then I met No. 3. We were attracted 
to each other at first acquaintance, and the attraction was mental and 
sexual. She was married and in love with another man, but that did 
not prevent her from kissing me. I felt her breasts, masturbated her, 
and had emissions by lying on her, but she drew the line at one thing, 
viz., kissing on the lips; and I drew it at coitus. We arranged a trip 
together during which I went to bed with her, but never had coitus, 
though we both had frequent orgasms in other ways. Before starting 
on this trip I had thought that I should not see No. 1 again, and she 
let me kiss her, to my unspeakable joy. Circumstances, however, inter- 
vened, and I went straight to No. 1 after parting with No. 3, told her 
all I had done, and then kissed her again, leaving her just before her 
real lover, with whom she was then living, arrived. Later I returned 
again to No. 1, now in child to her lover. We lived together for three 
nights in spite of this. She then went home, and I had no connection 
•with any woman for two years, except one black woman, being con- 
sumed with love and worship for No. 1. I was much in society, but 
never had any luck. At the end of this time I was traveling one night with 
a young officer ( 'X' ) , slight and effeminate and preferring men to women, 
with whom I had been until then on friendly but not intimate terms. 
I watched him undress and go to bed, and then, having myself undressed, 
went over to his bunk and put my hand under his clothes. He at once 
responded, and I got into his bed, both of us being in a frenzy of 
passion and surprise. But I was fairly sure of my ground or I would 
not have dared to take the risk. I used often to go to his bed after this, 
and on one occasion had coitus with a girl on a chair at u, ball and the 
next night with my young officer. I scarcely knew the girl, and don't 
know her name now, but I took her measure, made her excited by 
manipulation and kissing, and then got her consent. I did not harm 
her, even if I had been the first, for orgasm occurred before I had pene- 
trated beyond the lips. X surprised me by telling me that he had had 
connection with three other officers in my regiment, as well as with 
several others in the same station. He would not tell me their names, 
hut I guessed easily enough. - He used to drink heavily, and once I got 
into his bed when he was in a drunken stupor and he was quite unaware 
that I was there for some time. I myself was drinking too much at this 
time, and was frequently drunk before dinner. In the hot weather that 
followed I had one orgy in Bombay which lasted three nights. I started 


on a Greek and a Pole and finished up with a Japanese, two brother- 
officers accompanying me. Afterward I was much alone during the day 
in my bungalow, and used to become possessed by intense desire. I 
masturbated occasionally, but by this time took but little pleasure in it, 
always craving for toe moist human vagina. I had often heard, and 
myself quoted, the Pathan proverb 'Women for breeding; boys for 
pleasure; melons for delight,' and one day when seeking for some 
novelty with which to masturbate, and my eye being caught by a melon 
put ready for me to eat, it flashed across me to try whether the proverb 
was in any way true. I found it most satisfactory, and practised it 
several times after that, the pepita (papaye or pawpaw) being the 
nearest approach to the human vagina. The opportune arrival of a 
fairly good-looking punkah woman, however, put an end to this form 
of enjoyment by providing me with what I wanted. Soon afterward I 
went home again, taking the Japanese at Bombay on my way. 

"I had kept up a correspondence with Xo. 1 all this time, but we 
had made a compact that whatever each did until we met again was not 
to count, and I knew that she had had at least one liaison since our 
parting, and was in entire ignorance of the state of her feelings toward 
me. Therefore, while trying to arrange a meeting with her, I took the 
first thing that chance threw in my way, thinking a bird in the hand 
better than the off chance of a better one in the bush. This was Xo. 4, 
with whom I spent three days at the seaside after having first had coitus 
with her in my own home while she was in the monthly state. Imme- 
diately on parting from her I came home to receive Xo. 1. The first 
time we were alone she kissed me, and this was followed by mutual 
confessions and coitus, though at first she said my affair was too 
recent. I agreed not to have connection again with Xo. 4, and kept to 
this until when staying in the same house again with her I was tempted 
beyond my powers; and I may add that she gave me no assistance in 
keeping this promise, of which she was fully cognizant. I at once wrote 
and confessed to Xo. 1, and she very naturally would have nothing more 
to do with me. But I managed to reconcile her, and we afterward lived 
together for three days in the country, as well as in London and in her 
own house. Meanwhile Xo. 5 had been making advances to me which 
I could not well refuse, being a very old friend. Xos. 4 and 5 were on 
one occasion staying together at my house, just after I had been faithless 
to Xo. 1 with Xo. 4. I could not very well sleep with them both, so 
at the earnest entreaty of Xo. 4 I went to her room first, told her my 
reasons for not having connection with her, left her in tears, and then 
went and slept with Xo. 5. This is the only transaction I have ever 
concealed from Xo. 1; but Xo. 5 knows my whole story and accepts 
the situation of being only second so long as I give her satisfaction when- 


ever possible. About this time I again met No. 3 and kissed and mas- 
turbated her in a cab, but she would not allow me to go home with her. 
At the bidding of No. 1 I now broke entirely with No. 4, to the great 
grief and astonishment of my sister, whose friead she was. Shortly 
after this I again returned to India, where I quarreled hopelessly with 
No. 1, and I don't know to this day what my fault was, except that she 
had got tired of me. Her influence over me is, however, too great to 
be so easily broken, and I would return to her tomorrow if she moved a 
finger in reconciliation. During the following hot weather I slowly but 
surely, albeit quite unconsciously, obtained an influence over No. 6, and 
it ended by her falling desperately in love with me and allowing me to 
do what I liked. I did not love her, and told her about No. 1, whose 
image always remained in the back of my vision, whatever I was doing. 
She also accepted the situation, and I don't think has any grievance 
against me. For my part I have nothing but thanks and gratitude and 
as much love as I am capable of to give her, and all the other women 
with whom I have had any sexual relations. The following is a short 
account of the above women: — 

"No. 1. Had coitus before marriage, for love and with full knowl- 
edge of the nature of the act. Agreement with her husband not to have 
coitus rigidly adhered to by both. Has had connection with five other 
men since marriage. Very passionate; but faddy and particular. Slow 
at producing orgasm. Likes being in bed naked, and liked me once for 
having kissed her mons veneris. Thin, with undeveloped breasts. 
Brilliant, good-looking. Artistic and highly intellectual. Never mas- 
turbated, and did not know of homosexuality among women ; very sensi- 
tive to touch on the pudenda. 

"No. 2. Has had sexual relations, but never coitus, with many 
men. Mutually masturbated with one man. Masturbated herself fre- 
quently, and took a long time to produce orgasm, even with cunnilingus, 
which delighted her immensely. After having it performed, she would 
stoop down and passionately kiss my lips. Fond of prolonged kisses, 
during which the tongue played a prominent part. Tall and fully 
developed, but no looks. Clever, masculine brain, and strong physically. 
Skillfully concealed her passionate nature, which, however, was long 
in developing and was long kept in check by maidenly modesty. 

"No. 3. Innocent before marriage, and hated her fiaiw6 even to 
touch her, which feeling still persists. Has had liaisons with many 
men, and several miscarriages, one legitimate, others illegitimate, 
and one illegitimate child. Does not masturbate herself, but readily 
yields to its seduction when performed by others. The most passionate 
woman I have ever met. Good, typical, womanly figure, but thin and 
weak. Not much looks, but very fascinating to men. Clever and intel- 


"Xo. 4. Coitus only with her husband before myself. Not very 
passionate. I know nothing about masturbation or homosexuality in 
her case. Very broad hips, large breasts, and well-developed nates. 
Deserted by her husband. Xo children. Rather foolish and weak- 
minded. Penetration difficult owing to long labia majora. 

"Xo. 5. Knows all about homosexuality of both sexes and wants 
to know more about everything. Probably masturbates. Several chil- 
dren. In love with her husband at first, but now tired of him and took 
to other men for variety and because her husband had ceased to give 
her sexual pleasure. Very passionate; has slow orgasm; likes nakedness 
and contact of body. Very large vagina. Broad hips and full breasts. 
Intellectual, but not so by nature. Artistic and very musical. 

"Xo. 6. Absolutely innocent before marriage. Was practically 
raped by her husband on her marriage night. This disgusted her with 
the whole performance, and she could not bear her husband's caresses. 
During pregnancy she was frightened because she did not know what 
was going to happen, i.e., how the child was going to be born; and no 
one enlightened her, — doctor, nurse, or mother. Did not know the 
meaning of the words sexual feeling, and never thought about sexual 
matters at all until marriage. I roused her passion, put things in their 
true light, made her have an orgasm, and told her what it meant. 
The orgasms at first made her cry and nearly faint, and she thereafter 
became intensely passionate. Very excited at cunnilingus, which I 
practised on her more than once. She confessed that the orgasm was 
stronger and more complete during coitus than during masturbation, 
which relieved my mind. She volunteered to strip naked and has but 
little shyness with me. Cannot bear her husband yet. She admits that 
she was only half a woman before she knew me, but now regrets her 
marriage. Short, thin, and slight, with narrow hips and no breasts. 
Quick woman's wit, but not intellectual. 

"Of the prostitutes I have known, perhaps 60 in number, the 
Japanese easily take the palm. They are scrupulously clean, have 
charming manners and beautiful bodies, and take an intelligent interest 
in the proceedings. Also they are not always thinking about the money. 
Perhaps the Kashmiris come next, though the Chinese run them very 
close. Some of the more expensive London women are bearable, but they 
are such harlots! The white women in the East are insupportable, and 
small wonder, for they consist of the dregs of the European and Ameri- 
can markets. My list comprises English, French, German, Italian, 
Spanish-American, American, Bengali, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Kaffir, Sin- 
ghalese, Tamil, Burmese, Malay, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, and Pole. 

"I naturally prefer to satisfy myself with a woman, a friend and 
a, lady of my own class ; but in the absence of the best I gladly take the 


next best available, down the scale from a lady for whom I do not care 
to prostitutes of all classes and colors, men, boys, animals, melons, and 
masturbation. I would as cheerfully have connection with my sister, 
or any other female relative. I have frequent erotic dreams about the 
most extraordinary subjects — male and female relations, casual ac- 
quaintances of both sexes, and animals. When I have got an intrigue 
in hand with a woman, I have no wish to masturbate, and often restrain 
myself when I know that I am going to have access before long to 
prostitutes. After coitus it takes a long time before I am ready for the 
next, sometimes two hours; and the first is always very quick, nearly 
always too quick for the woman. With a strange woman I have diffi- 
culty in maintaining erection at the instant of penetration, and this 
has often given me trouble. 

"I know that most women like, and few dislike, being touched by 
me. My favorite colors are green and red, and I can whistle quite well. 

"I would be very glad to know whether I may be considered sex- 
ually normal or not, but I do not desire any opinion on the morality of 
my acts, for the simple reason that without knowing all the circum- 
stances it would be impossible to judge. But I cannot help saying that 
I do not consider anything I have done is wrong in itself, and I am 
quite certain that I have never harmed in any way any of the ladies 
with whom I have had relations. I am certain, if I had made promises 
which I knew I could not keep, I might have married one of them. But 
the result would have been great unhappiness to both, quarrels, and 
ultimate separation or divorce — and she realized that as well as I did. 
I may seem egotistical in my attitude and assurance toward ladies, but 
I only speak the honest truth; and I know that No. 6, for instance, has 
only gratitude and worship to give me for having opened her eyes. I 
have made her promise to have intercourse with her husband as soon 
as she can bear it, and I have satisfied myself that I have not started 
her on the road to sexual perversion. So much in self-explanation. I 
may add that I do not deliberately seek 'affaires de cosur,' and that, 
when they come my way, I do my utmost to use all consideration for the 
lady, thinking, as I do, that I owe them a far bigger debt than I shall 
ever be able to pay." 

History XIV. — J. E., professional man, aged 32. Public school 
and university education, in which he did well. From age of 6 or 7 had 
strong sexual emotions, and from 9 sexually pleasurable dreams, though 
no emission till 12 or 13. He remembers the association of sexual 
excitement with whipping, either at sight or imagination of it, and this 
feeling was certainly shared by boys aged 9 to 12 at his private boarding- 
school and others at the public school later on. His nurse-maid used to 
invent excuses for beating his nates with a, long lead-pencil when he was 


aged about 7, and he saw occasional whippings with clothes removed in 
the family nursery. 

When nearly 16 he was initiated into masturbation, which at once 
coincided with rapid mental development and success at school. He has 
practised it ever since under same conditions and restrictions as marital 
intercourse. Religion has never acted as any restraint, and the best 
restraint to all young people, in his opinion, is to warn them on hygienic 
grounds. (He became a freethinker at 17, partly on observing the in- 
consistency of religious persons in this connection. He was twice set 
upon by Catholics when 16, who attempted mutual masturbation.) He 
can vaguely remember some such warning when very young from his 

Xo intercourse with women till age of 19, though strong homo- 
sexual feelings from 10 upward, associated with feminine youths. These 
feelings were quite distinct from feelings of affection and friendship for 
more virile youths. An attack of gonorrhea at 21 was followed by an 
operation for circumcision, which had beneficial effects, but did not 
prevent an attack of syphilis at age of 23, caught at a guaranteed 
state establishment in France. Intercourse almost always with prosti- 
tutes, on prudential and worldly grounds, though what he approves 
would be greater laxity between boys and girls, with proper safe- 
guards against undesired offspring. He is now happily married. He 
only indulges in masturbation at times when intercourse is impossible 
(e.g., childbirth ) . It is then practised once or twice a week in the 
early morning; overnight it causes troubled sleep, brain activity, and 
constipation. This seems ethically more desirable unless the wife were 
to condone physical infidelity, which she would not, and even then there 
might be risks of venereal disease. His general health and working 
power are in all respects excellent, as the venereal diseases were speedily 
and thoroughly cured. Homosexual feeling has entirely disappeared 
since marriage. 

Histoet XV. — G. D., English; aged 60. "My earliest essays in 
juvenile vice were due not so much to unguarded as to unguided igno- 
rance. I slipped where my natural protectors suspected no danger, and 
I fell because I had never been warned of the treacherous nature of the 
ground. Before or soon after I was 7 years old, the example of an 
elder brother, who had lately begun to go to school as a day-boy, 
initiated me into the mysteries of masturbation, which seemed to me 
then as harmless as it was fascinating; and the novel pleasure was 
almost daily indulged in, after I had acquired sufficient dexterity to 
accomplish the act within a reasonable time, without a twinge of con- 
science, either in that brother's company or when alone. Decency de- 
manded secrecy in the gratification of what soon became an imperious 


desire, and the preliminary operations included, almost from the first, 
mutual fellatio and approximation of the excited organs; but similar 
privacy was very properly sought during the performance of other 
bodily acts associated with* those 'less honorable members,' and it ap- 
peared to me quite as natural and right for us to amuse ourselves 
together in that way as for a married couple to hide their most intimate 
embraces from the observation of others. Indeed, I went farther than 
that, and even came to regard the absence of all shame between us as 
akin to the primeval innocence which Adam and Eve exhibited before 
the Fall. I believed for long that we two were specially privileged and 
possessed a peculiar sense- denied to other boys, for I had never heard 
of masturbation till I learnt, not the word indeed, but the thing itself. 

"My curiosity about the real nature of sexual union in the case 
of human beings set my intelligence to work at the interesting problem, 
and by carefully studying certain parts of the Bible, Lempriere's classi- 
cal and other dictionaries, as well as by persistently watching when I 
could the amorous proceedings of domestic animals, I learnt enough to 
make its most prominent features pretty clear before I was 11 years of 
age. I was then all eagerness to have the opportunity of inspecting at 
close quarters the genitals of women or young girls, and a stay at the 
seaside when I was 12 made the latter at least feasible. When the 
shore was nearly deserted, between 1 and 2 p.m., the daughters of the 
fisherfolk used to besiege the bathing machines and disport themselves 
in the water, bathing and paddling in various stages of nudity. I would 
pretend that my whole attention was being given to the making of 
miniature tunnels in the sand, while all the time I slyly peeped at what 
I most desired to see, whether in front or from behind, as the dancing 
damsels stood upright or stooped till their haunches were higher than 
their heads. I had already read something somewhere about the clitoris, 
and wanted especially to see it, but indistinct glimpses were all that I 
could obtain; nor was it until I visited an anatomical museum, which 
then existed at the top of the Haymarket in London, that I learned, a 
good many years later, from several life-sized models there displayed, 
the characteristic features of that part, as well as the abnormal modifica- 
tions to which it is subject, either congenitally or in consequence of 
profligate habits. I was 15, I think, when I first came to know that 
girls can masturbate as well as boys. 

"Long after I had realized why the terms male and female are 
so distinguished, my imagination was occupied with the possible postures 
in which the act of copulation may be accomplished by a man and 
woman; from Horace, Lucretius, Martial, Aristophanes, and, above all, 
from Ovid's Ars Amatoria I obtained much, but not always very clear, 
information while still a. schoolboy. This was supplemented later by 


photographic pictures from Pompeiian brothels and photographs from 
life, purchased at Florence and gloated over one night, with twice-re- 
peated masturbation, and afterward destroyed in a revulsion of shame. 

"But while continuing to practise self-abuse (with a certain 
degree of restraint indeed, but seldom less often than once or even twice 
a week), after I had been made fully aware of its perils by Dr. Adam 
Clarke's alarming comments on Genesis xxxviii, 9. when I was about 
12 or 13, I never had connection with a woman until I married some- 
what late in life. This abstinence was not due to any frigidity of 
disposition, but from prudential and religious motives, and, to some 
extent perhaps, from the imperfect but genuine satisfaction afforded by 
solitary indulgence, Aly imagination, like that of young J. J. Rousseau, 
as set forth in his Confessions, was allowed free scope for its exercise, 
but in practice I confined myself to what seemed to me comparatively 
innocent as compared with fornication. I was never an unreserved 
'exhibitionist' like Rousseau, but I have on more than one occasion 
turned toward a, hedge and pretended to make water, when a girl had 
just passed me on the road, showing a turgens cauda, if she should 
chance out of curiosity to look back, as once, at any rate, happened. 

"I watched with interest the first indications of puberty in my 
own person. I had, of course, seen the pubic hair on many of my own 
sex, but I was 17 when I first saw a naked woman. She was standing 
at the door of her machine, wringing out her bathing-dress, as I swam 
past, and her face was hidden by the awning then used, so that she 
could not see me. A slight effusion of limpid mucus began to charac- 
terize the orgasm, at the age of 12 or 13 (before any ejaculation of 
semen was experienced), such as exuded later from the urethra when 
salacious excitement reached a certain pitch, even though the final 
climax might be postponed or prevented altogether. I found it a refine- 
ment of luxury to prolong the period of tumescence as far as possible, 
by frequently checking a too rapid progress toward the goal. By this 
practice of repeated arrest when the orgasm was imminent, and the 
menial debauchery which was its habitual accompaniment, I believe I 
did my nervous system more damage than by anything else — even the 
early age at which the dangerous indulgence became established. Xoc- 
turnal emissions (the sequel of lascivious dreams) commenced when I 
was about 15, at which age I had my first experience of an involuntary 
discharge when awake, under the influence of purely mental emotion; 
but this latter mode of escape did not often happen, and later on ceased' 
altogether. My muscular strength was not impaired by too frequent 
indulgence, and I acquired some athletic prowess on the football field 
and on the running path, both as a boy and as a young man. Walking 
tours were for long my favorite recreation, even after the bicycle became 


an increasing attraction. My health, however, suffered in other ways 
from too constant absorption in lustful thoughts, which found vent in 
erotic verses and tales, generally destroyed soon after they were written. 
I have been subject since I was a boy to more or less prolonged fits of 
mental depression. How far I have inherited this tendency (my father 
and his father both married first cousins, and a neurotic diathesis has 
been characteristic of our family), or how far it has been aggravated 
by pernicious habits, I cannot say; cause and effect have no doubt 
acted and reacted on each other. 

"As I grew toward adolescence I endeavored to make self -abuse as 
close an imitation as possible of sexual intercourse by such methods as 
may be easily imagined, My biological studies ( I won a scholarship and 
took honors at my university ) were directed with most intent predilec- 
tion toward the reproductive system, particularly the modifications of 
the copulatory organs in different animals and the diverse manner of 
their employment. The sexual instinct, whether in its normal or ab- 
normal manifestations, is a subject which has always had a, strong 
attraction for me, nor has it lost its fascination with the growth of 
years (I am now 60) nor the competition of other interests. 

"My very limited experience of the sexual system in women 
would lead me to believe that the clitoris is the only peculiarly sensitive 
part of the female genitalia, coition giving no pleasure unless 'the 
trigger of love' is simultaneously manipulated, as can be done when 
intromission is effected a tergoj that the mind of a normally healthy 
maiden is altogether free from sexual excitement of a physical kind, and 
that little curiosity is felt about the precise modus operandi of conjugal 
intercourse; but, nevertheless, I have good reason to believe that this, 
if not an unusual type, is by no means the only one that exists. 

"As to sexual inversion my personal experience has been confined 
to two or three grandes passions for boys, the first of which possessed 
me when between the ages of 16 and 18, and involved, when I was 17, 
the most intense mental emotion, of a romantic kind, tinged with 
poignant jealousy and vexation at comparative coldness toward myself. 
These love passages never led me into indelicate behavior (I was once 
threatened with such treatment myself by a stranger whose acquaintance 
I made one day at the British Museum, when » lad of 15. He took me 
to his bedroom at an inn, locked the door, and showed me a. collection of 
coins, giving me some, and, while doing so, attempted to take indecent 
liberties; but I pretended that I must catch a certain train, unlocked 
the door, and made a hasty escape), nor was any gratification sought 
beyond occasional kisses and other innocent endearments, though such 
caresses would sometimes excite an erection, which I carefully con- 
cealed. These amours were, however, no outcome of perverted instinct, 


nor were they any bar to fancies for the opposite sex which affected my 
imagination rather than my heart." 

Histoby XVI. — This history is given in the subject's own words: 
A. N, 34 years of age, » university graduate, devoted to learning and 
interested in philosophy and theology. He is happily married and the 
father of an only daughter. Since puberty he has enjoyed excellent 

"Looking • back he finds the beginnings of sexual feeling obscure. 
This feeling is by no means identical in its progress with the knowledge 
of the phenomena of sex generally. The latter he acquired thus: His 
mother told him at a very early age the outlines of the phenomena of 
birth and explained to him (perhaps at that time unnecessarily) that 
the genital organs of little girls were different from his own. This 
piece of knowledge led to his asking, when 9 years old, a little girl 
cousin who came to live with the family ( he was an only child ) and who 
shared his bed to let him see her genitalia. This she readily did and 
also invited him to coitus, which she described as a 'nice game.' He 
complied, but without, of course, any feeling of pleasure or any under- 
standing of the nature of what he was doing. Shortly after this he 
went to a day school, where, amid the extraordinarily coarse conversation 
of the boys, he was initiated into all the more obvious phenomena of 
sex. But stilj it was only a matter of intellectual curiosity. As such 
it had a strange fascination for him, and to this day he remembers many 
of the obscene words and phrases, as, for example, a, set of indecent 
verses beginning 'William, the milkman, sat under a tree,' describing 
coitus, though some of the details were yet misunderstood by him. 
That up to his tenth or eleventh year no real sexual desire was awakened 
is plain from the fact that there was no desire for any repetition of at- 
tempts at coitus with his cousin, though he did indeed, again out of 
curiosity, finger her genitals sometimes, a thing which she, grown 
evidently more fastidious, reported to his mother, who gravely repri- 
manded him, telling him that it was the 'beginning of all evil.' 

"Desire was awakened gradually and, as I have said, obscurely. 
Not only at school, but among his own cousins, especially two girls 
(other than the one above mentioned) and a boy, the conversation was 
lascivious in the extreme, though words never proceeded to deeds as 
between the boys and the girls. He was soon, however, about his 
fifteenth year, so far as he can remember, initiated into the practice of 
masturbation, first, sleeping with his boy cousin, the two used to play 
at 'husband and wife,' and then, more directly, a neighbor, a heavy, 
sensual type of boy, took him aside one day and drawing out his own 
penis asked him 'if he knew how to make some buttermilk.' Out of 
curiosity at first, and to obtain the new and voluptuous sensation after- 


ward, he began assiduously to practise this vice, which, as he afterward 
found out, was very common, if not universal about him. That it was 
morally reprehensible he had not at that time the ghost of a. notion; he 
considered that it belonged to the category of the 'dirty' only. His 
father quite neglected this development, believing, I suppose, in the 
superstition of the 'innocence of childhood.' 

"This practice of masturbation went on assiduously to his six- 
teenth year, when its true nature and danger, were revealed to him by a 
good clergyman who prepared him for confirmation. He had at this 
time gone far, in both solitary vice and vice 'a deux,' with his male 
cousin, with whom he practised even 'fellatio' and 'intromissio in 
anum.' But now he began to struggle against it and made some head- 
way, but never entirely shook it off before his marriage at 26, so deeply 
rooted was the hold it had on him. Especially at the time between 
sleeping and waking, or while lying sleepless at night — when the monks 
prayed 'ne polluantur corpora' — did its attacks come insidiously upon 
him. He would struggle for weeks and then would come a relapse. On 
one occasion he slept with a young uncle who amused himself, thinking 
he was asleep, by playing with his penis until he had an emission. 
A. N. hailed the occasion with keen joy — he caustically argued that he 
experienced the pleasure without being culpable in its production! 
Then on 'coming to himself he would agonize over his vice, remembering, 
for example, that, while he had rejoiced in what had been done, the 
very cousin who some time before used to share his sin was genuinely 
annoyed at the same uncle's attentions when it was he who suffered 

"Looking back over the whole period of his youth and adolescence, 
he can trace the psychological effect of what was going on secretly, in his 
relations to girls and women. In » word, these relations were senti- 
mental only. He often imagined himself in love ; but it was imagination 
only. He was in love with a wraith, not a girl of flesh and blood. He 
hesitated to regard in any sexual way any girl of whom he had a high 
opinion; sexual desire and 'love' seemed for him to inhabit different 
worlds and that it would be a pollution to bring them together. In 
hours of relaxation from the very hard intellectual work which he was 
at this time engaged on at school and at the university, he was quite 
content with the society of quite young girls or even children when most 
of his friends would have sought out females of their own age. Nothing 
could have been farther from his desires or intention than any lascivious 
or, indeed, unseemly act toward any female in whose company he might 
be : no mother need have hesitated to trust her daughter in his company. 
I firmly believe that the discipline of the same bed which Gibbon 
(Decline and Fall, ed. Bury, vol. ii, p. 37) makes so merry over could 



have been endured by him without difficulty. His outward conduct was 
in all these respects most seemly and decorous, yet night after night 
he could masturbate, his imagination glowing with visions of female 

"Curiously the one and only actual female for whom he felt any 
desire at the earlier period (aged 14 to 16) began to be the cousin who 
lived in the house. On one occasion he touched her breasts, on another 
her naked thighs — and that was all! As she grew to puberty, she 
would have allowed far more liberties, but he contented himself with a 
sly glance now and again, when he could procure it, at her swelling 
bosom. The fear of putting her with child was ample to keep him away 
from her bed. Later on even so much as the foregoing occurred no more, 
and, as I have said, his outward life became absolutely decorous. 

"Consequently he was in no danger of having dealings with pros- 
titutes. The preliminaries, the conversation of such women, especially 
their drinking habits, would have been disgusting and repugnant to 
him in the extreme. He would have shunned the possibility of acquiring 
venereal disease like the plague. But he was never free from solitary 
vice; he secretly envied those who had occasions for coitus in what I 
may call a seemly and cleanly manner, friends in the country with farm 
girls, etc., of whom he had heard. He indulged also in lascivious 
reading, the obscene when he could procure it, rather than the merely 
suggestive, which has never been to his taste. He was familiar with 
quite a large number of Latin and Greek indecent passages, knew the 
broader farces of the Canterbury Tales and of the Decameron, and, 
later, the "contes" of La Fontaine and the Facetiir of Poggio. As 
Ste.-Beuve says of Gibbon, I think, he acquired an 'erudite and cold' 
sort of obscenity in this way. 

"All this, of course, is only one-half, and by no means always the 
dominant half, of his nature. He was often repentant for these delin- 
quencies, and he was sincerely religious. He was also fond of serious 
learning and contrived to take a first-class university degree. Yet, ever 
and anon, the deeply sensual side of his nature made itself felt. 
Scotched for a time it could be, but killed never. 

"Yet, I do not think it could be said that he had the sexual 
instinct in any really high degree. It was more like a small fly that 
makes a. large buzz than any considerable factor in his constitution. 
He had a companion about this time of whom such a remark is even 
more true. This man's mind was replete with all manner of risky 
stories, all sorts of sexual details. He would take long walks with girls 
of loose character, talk with prostitutes at home and abroad, and yet, I 
believe, he never proceeded to coitus. 


"Such then, was the subject of this notice up to the time of his 
marriage. Two men, one might say, in one skin. One learned, one 
merely obscene; one a pattern of decorousness, the other a self -polluter. 

"On the sexual side he was as one knowing everything there is to 
know — yet knowing nothing. Like the boy-hero in Wedekind's Friih- 
ling's Erwaehen, he had been long in Egypt, yet he had never seen the 
pyramids. He began to distress himself with questions as to whether 
he was yet capable; whether his recurring vice had not permanently 
injured him; whether he had made himself unfit for marriage. So shy 
and reserved was he about his secret that he could never have brought 
himself to mention it to a medical man. 'What! he! the good, the 
religious! the wholly moral and decorous!' (such was, indeed, the 
reputation he had among his friends) ; 'he, the victim of a vice so black!' 
No, no! 'Secretum meum mihi,' he cried. 

"Fortune, however, was kind to him. He was at an early age free 
from financial worries, which had almost crushed him earlier in his 
career, and he met in course of time the family from which he selected 
his excellent wife. 

"The society in which he lived was of all English classes, I should 
suppose, the most reticent in matters of sex — the respectable, lower 
middle class; shopkeepers and the like, with a, tradition of homely reli- 
gion and virtue. The classes a little higher in the scale (to which, by 
the way, his mother had belonged) could far better sympathize with 
one in his position. Well, the family of his future wife was of a higher 
class and, what is far more, of foreign origin, for whom a, large number 
of our English 'convenances' do not exist. To them sex was frankly 
recognized as a factor in life, and the mother of this household, as he 
grew more intimate, broached subjects which he had never, in such a. 
manner, discussed before. It is unnecessary to give here any general 
history of his relationships with this household, as they have nothing 
to do with the matter in hand. After some time he became engaged 
to the youngest daughter, two years his senior, a woman of remarkable 
beauty and splendid development, one who attracted him as none other 
had done, both on account of her intellectual and social qualities and 
her physical beauty (he had hitherto despaired of finding the two 
combined in one person), for she is certainly the most beautiful woman 
with whom he has ever been acquainted. 

"He now began to make the practical acquaintance of a woman — 
and one who, in impulses, temper, manner, and habit of thought, differed 
toto cwlo from the girls he had known in his old home. Her sexual 
nature was ripe and developed, and it is lucky that the engagement was 
of short duration, or the strain and anticipation of that time might have 
been injurious to the health of both. As usual, in his outward relations 


toward women, so toward his fiancee, he was prepared for chaste caresses 
only. This, however, did not suffice for her hot and passionate nature. 
They went as far as possible short of actual coitus. 

'After a ■ few months, however, the marriage took place, and, at 
first, this brought him bitter disappointment and seemed to confirm 
his worst fears. He found himself quite unable to have pleasure or 
satisfactory coitus; quite incapable, with any erection that he could 
command, of introducing his well-developed penis into his wife's ex- 
tremely narrow and contracted vagina. About a fortnight after the 
marriage, however, on his return from their short wedding tour, he felt 
much stronger and copulated with her, especially in the early mornings, 
so satisfactorily that she soon found herself with child. Coitus now 
began to be much more pleasurable for him, but to his wife still at- 
tended with pain. 

"After nine months of married life, the child, the only offspring 
of the marriage, a healthy girl, was born. The stress of this time, the 
upsetting of his wife's health, her nervous breakdown and consequently 
uncertain temper, seemed for a period of nearly two years effectually to 
repress any sexual desire in the husband, and this period is perhaps the 
chastest of his life. Desire seemed to be the one thing absent. The 
revulsion of feeling in his wife was remarkable. The erstwhile amorous 
fiancee, who could hardly wait until marriage to test her lover, became 
now the wife and mother who hardly wished to be touched by her 

"Her health, however, gradually improved and a, more normal 
state of affairs was brought about, which has continued to the present 
day, broken only by periods of abstention, chiefly caused' by the attacks 
of anemia and menstrual irregularities from which his wife suffers from 
time to time. Ordinarily, he enjoys coitus once or twice in the month, 
hardly oftener, taking one month with another. At one time he exem- 
plified in his own person the saying omne animal post coitum triste, 
but now happily this depression of spirits is rarely felt. Sometimes he 
has felt a depression of spirits, a general discontentedness, before ex- 
periencing a strong erection; in these eases coitus has cleared his 
spirits. He would naturally look upon coitus as an evacuation, although 
lie recognizes the imperfectness of that view. For one thing he is con- 
stantly sorry, viz., that the act gives no pleasure to his wife, and that 
lie has never been able to induce a crisis with her by normal means. In 
this state of affairs, knowing that 'apres coup' she was still unsatisfied, 
he slipped into the practice of rubbing the clitoris with his fingers until 
the emission takes place. To do this, they assume the position 'ille sub, 
ilia super.' From his own limited marital experience, he has never 
been able to understand the stories of women who masturbate several 


times a day, as his wife would be physically incapable (so he believes) 
of anything of the kind, and only easily reaches the crisis in any cir- 
cumstances during the first few days after the menstrual flow has 
ceased. In fine, while agreeing theoretically with Sir Richard Burton 
and others that the eastern style of coitus (directed with a view to the 
pleasure of your partner) is the right one, it is one of his standing 
regrets that he is unable to practise it. In the place of the twenty 
minutes required by the women of India (according to Burton) he is 
happy if he can give two or three at the most, much as he would wish 
to prolong a pleasure as keen to himself as he could desire it to be to 
his dear and excellent spouse." 

History XVII. — R. L., American; aged 43; height, 5 ft. 7 in.; 
weight, about 145 lbs.; occupation, teacher; somewhat neurotic; a slight 
myopia associated with acute astigmatism and muscular weakness of the 
eyes, producing a tendency to migraine. Uric acid diathesis, producing 
occasionally severe neuralgia, particularly in the intestines. These 
symptoms have been more or less constant since very early childhood. 
General health very good. Not inclined to indulge in athletic, sports, 
but prefers se'dentary occupations and recreations. 

"My early ideas of sexual things are not very clear in recollection. 
I think that when 7 or 8 years of age I had a knowledge of the common 
or vulgar terms for intercourse and for the genital organs. Boys of 
my own age and slightly older would discuss sex relations, and I had a 
general knowledge that, in some way connected with the sexual act, 
■babies were made.' We would tell, occasionally, lewd stories, and a few 
times attempted sexual practices with one another. Not till after 
puberty did I ever attempt masturbation. I must have been 9 or 10 
years old before I learned that there was a difference in the sex organs 
of boys and girls. Up to this time I had supposed that intercourse was 
per anum. I attended a. public school with both sexes. Talk among my 
boy associates was often nasty and concerned the sexual act with girls. 
At about 12 years I began to have erotic day dreams. I always had a. 
sentimental attachment for some girl acquaintance whom I would ide- 
alize and with whom I would imagine myself having sex relations. As 
a matter of fact, there was no real sexual feeling about this. As I 
was very shy and timid naturally, I never made any kind of advances 
toward any of them, and they were entirely ignorant of any sentiments 
of affection in me. 

"Pubertal changes commenced, I presume, about the age of 13% 
years. I place it at this period from the following circumstances, which 
are fixed very strongly in my memory : I had, as a child, a soprano voice 
that was praised considerably by older friends, and about which I was 
inordinately conceited. I enjoyed greatly taking part in operettas, can- 


tatas, etc. The dramatic instinct, if so it may be called, has always 
been marked with me, and amateur dramatics are still my chief diver- 
sion. When I was about the age mentioned above my voice changed 
quite rapidly, greatly to my distress of mind, as I was obliged to give up 
taking a part for which I had been cast in a school entertainment. The 
memory of that disappointment is still poignant. Other changes, such 
as the appearance of the pubertal hair, must have made no impression 
on my mind, as I cannot recollect anything in connection therewith. No 
involuntary emissions occurred. Indeed, during periods of continence in 
later life, when the sexual tension has been very strong, I have had very 
few such emissions. 

"As a lad of 11 or 12, I had heard frequent allusions to masturba- 
tion by other boys who were older, but always in a way that indicated 
contempt. Yet there is no doubt now in my mind that the practice was 
very general. I think that I was probably about 15 when I decided to 
try the act. I think that there was little sex impulse in this decision. 
The animating purpose was rather curiosity. I succeeded in producing 
the complete orgasm and found it pleasurable, though there was a con- 
siderable shock of surprise at the ejaculation of semen. As nearly as I 
can estimate in my memory of an event as far back as this was, this 
was the beginning of definite sexual sensibility in me. I cannot but 
believe, however, that it would have been aroused sooner or later in some 
other way. Thereafter I would imagine myself embracing some of the 
girl friends to whom I have referred above, and, when excited, would 
masturbate. The act was in every instance a psyehic intercourse. For 
some time I did not know that the practice was considered harmful. I 
indulged whenever I felt the inclination. This at times was rather 
frequent; again only at considerable intervals. I did know that it was 
looked upon as being unmanly, and never admitted, except to perhaps 
two or three boy friends, that I ever indulged. With these boys I prac- 
tised mutual masturbation a few times. There was no homosexual 
feeling connected with these acts in any of us. It was only that the 
normal method of gratifying our desires was not available. I know the 
subsequent history of each of these boys, and there has been nothing to 
indicate any perverted instinct in any of them. About the age of 16 I 
heard a talk on sexual matters by a traveling evangelist, who portrayed 
the effects of masturbation in fearful colors. I now realize that he was 
an ignorant though well-intentioned man; but the general effect of his 
talk upon me was a bad one. One of the results of the habit, according 
to his statements, was insanity. Therefore I expected at any moment 
to lose my mind. I felt that I must stop the practice at once, but the 
matter became so great an obsession that again and again I broke my ■ 
resolutions for reform. I undertook exercise, dieting, the reading of 


serious literature: all of which I had seen referred to in books as 
methods of lessening sexual desire. The object of these disciplinary 
practices was always the thing most prominently in mind, and so they 
were of no avail. Fortunately I entered college a little later, and the 
affairs of school life gradually took a commanding place in my thoughts, 
and the practice was not so much in mind. I did not, however, com- 
pletely break away from it until almost the time of my marriage. If the 
present attitude of the scientific medical world toward the subject had 
been known to me, I do not believe that any evil would have come to me 
from the practice. At a later period of my life, say between 21 and 24, 
I would not indulge the habit for a considerable interval. At times I 
did not notice the presence or lack of desire. But then there would come 
periods when I would be under a severe sexual tension. This would be 
marked by intense nervousness, an inability to fix my attention upon 
any one thing, and a great desire to have intercourse. An act of 
masturbation at such a time would generally give relief. However, 
when I yielded to this form of relief, there would always follow feelings 
of profound self-reproach and of self-repugnance. Had I had nocturnal 
emissions they might have relieved me; but, as I have said before, they 
very rarely occurred. When, rarely, one did occur I would be greatly 
frightened, for I had the old, erroneous idea that they meant serious 
weakness and always ascribed them to my bad habit. That my habit of 
masturbation had any relation to the rarity of the involuntary emissions 
would, of course, be a matter of pure conjecture. In passing from the 
discussion of personal masturbation, I wish to say that my associations 
with boys as a pupil and as a teacher lead me to believe that the 
practice is practically universal. When discussing the hygienic evils of 
prostitution with boy pupils I have noted that, whereas not infrequently 
a boy will voluntarily protest that he has never had intercourse, there 
has always been a significant silence when masturbation is mentioned. 
I have never heard a boy make a denial, direct or indirect, that he had 
indulged in the practice. But it has seldom been a perversion. It has 
rather been, as in my own ease, an available means of relieving a 
sexual impulse. 

"During my college life I associated with many boys who had 
more or less regular sexual relations with prostitutes or with girls who 
were not virtuous. Their attitude toward the practice was an immoral 
one. The ethical aspect of irregular sexual relations never concerned 
them. It certainly did not concern me. What I have learned through 
my conversations on the subject with my pupils makes it evident to me 
that this is the common feeling of most boys of the adolescent period. I 
think of two things which operated strongly to prevent my entering into 
sexual relations with girls during this period of my life. One was an 


esthetic repugnance to the average prostitute. These are the women 
most easily available to the youth whose sexual desires are developed. 
I do not remember ever having seen an avowed prostitute who did not 
seem repulsive to me. I confess to an inclination to priggishness. I 
preferred to associate with people whom I called 'nice people.' It was 
fortunate for me that I was thrown into the society of a rather rough 
crowd of youths, who knocked a great deal of this snobbishness out of 
me. But it did act to prevent my having recourse to prostitution. A 
second preventive was my natural timidity in making advances to 
people. This has been a trait that I have never completely overcome. 
In my professional life this has been some detriment to my advance- 
ment. In the matter of sex relationship it tended to prevent my taking 
advantage of association with and even of advances from girls who, not 
prostitutes, were nevertheless not virtuous. There were a number of 
such in the town and neighborhood in which I lived, and I undoubtedly 
could have had sexual relations with them if I had only been able to 
overcome my shyness. The desire was not wanting. I really craved 
intercourse with them. It was simply a matter of cowardice. There 
was one girl whom I knew very well, with whom I was on friendly 
terms, who I knew had had sexual relations with other boys. She 
showed, at times, a marked preference for me, and I am sure would have 
welcomed any advances that I should have made. A number of times 
I sought her company with the intention of suggesting intercourse, but 
my resolution always failed. 

"All through my college course I was much in the society of girls. 
We were in class together, associated very freely in society, frequently 
studied together. This is the most usual state of things in the 
western part of our country. But they were simply comrades: sex 
thoughts never arose in connection with such association. And I am 
quite certain that this was the general attitude of the other boys. 
Although the talk among the boy students was at times, very frankly 
and crudely, about sexual relations, no breath of scandal ever touched 
one of the college girls. Again my experience as teacher and student 
brings a conclusion that coeducation of the sexes does not affect, in one 
way or the other, the strictly sexual life of the male student. A very 
intimate friend who has had a varied experience in school work has told 
me recently that his conclusions are the same. 

"When I was about 20 years old I became acquainted with a. very 
beautiful girl, four years my junior. Our acquaintance very rapidly 
developed into deeper affection, and about five years later we were 
married. During all this time very little of the physical aspects of 
love entered into our attachment. My sweetheart had much of the same 
shyness as was so pronounced in my own character. For several years 


I think that the thought of marriage was never distinctly present in 
our minds. A formal betrothal between us did not take place until 
within a year and u, half of our marriage. Yet each of us had a very 
distinct understanding of the feelings of the other. But until our 
betrothal there were none of even those very innocent expressions of 
endearment common, I imagine, to all lovers. I am sure that during this 
period of our attachment no thought of any physical relations between 
us was ever in my mind; or, at any rate, was promptly banished if it 
occurred. Yet all this time my sex desires were very strong and at times 
became an obsession. Never, though, were they directed toward my 
sweetheart. The first time that we engaged in the endearments and 
caresses allowed to lovers I became conscious, after a time, of a state 
of sexual excitement; I experienced an erection. It was absolutely 
reflex; no thought had entered into it. I was at once overwhelmed with 
a feeling of shame. I felt that I had been guilty of unthinkable indecency 
toward my betrothed. Then there arose a fear that it might be noticed. 
(Men at that time wore abominably tight clothing.) As a matter of 
fact, I now know that there was no real danger of this, for she was 
absolutely ignorant of the nature of the male sexual organs. But I 
made a pretext for withdrawing from the room and tried to adjust my 
clothing so that no exposure could occur. I was fearful of coming into 
close proximity to her again, lest there should be a, recurrence of the 
feeling. As a matter of fact it did occur a number of times, but my 
good sense finally suggested the explanation and after a time it ceased 
to trouble me. The thought was latent in my mind that sexual excite- 
ment was necessarily more or less indecent at all times, and I could 
not reconcile its manifestation with a, pure love. 

"I have said that my sexual desire was strong. Up to the time of 
marriage it was never gratified in the normal manner. My esthetic 
abhorrence of prostitutes continued to prevent its gratification in that 
manner. ISTo other opportunity offered. I am positive that moral con- 
siderations did not enter into the matter at all. I think now that it was 
strange that the thought that it would be disloyal to my promised wife 
to have connection with other women did not affect me. But I am sure 
that it did not. I am inclined to think that conscientious scruples very 
rarely enter into the average young man's considerations of contemplated 
sexual relations. 

"As the time of my marriage drew near, thoughts of the physical 
relationship of husband and wife became, of course, more insistent. The 
idea of establishing sexual relations was not at all a. pleasant one. I 
dreaded it as an ordeal. I wondered if it would be possible for us to 
retain the same love and affection for one another after such intimate 
relations were established. This was a recurrence of the fallacious 


notion that there was something inherently indecent in sexual things. 
I am in hopes that other ideas are replacing this wrong one, in the 
minds of the younger generation, as the result of the saner and franker 
discussion of sex. By » great effort, I had practically stopped mas- 
turbating. At times I felt almost maddened by desire. But never did 
the prospect of marriage seem desirable from this point of view. Up 
to the very day of our wedding my affection for my betrothed seemed 
free from sexual desire. But my physical being was craving sexual 

"Theoretically I knew a great deal of the nature of intercourse. 
Practically I was absolutely ignorant. In some ways I was better in- 
formed, on matters that a, new husband should know, than the average 
man entering the married life. A physician's library had been at my 
disposal, and I had read somewhat extensively on physiology and 
hygiene. My chosen lines of study had given me a theoretical knowledge 
of the anatomy of the female genital organs that was fairly thorough. 
I knew a little about the physiology of reproduction and rather less of 
intercourse. Fortunately, I learned in the course of my reading that 
the first sexual approaches were likely to be quite painful to a woman, 
and that great care should be exercised at this time. I tried to put 
into practice what little I had learned in theory and I imagine that we 
got through the introductory attempts with less than the average diffi- 
culties. Our first efforts were not satisfactory to either of us. My wife 
was absolutely unprepared so far as any definite knowledge of the act 
was concerned. I sincerely hope that the prudish notions of the past 
generations will give way to more sensible views in the future, and 
that the girl becoming a. wife will be just as chaste, but wiser in 
matters of such importance to her happiness. I presume that my 
timidity was a valuable asset at this time; for I was afraid to force 
matters in any way, and time and repeated attempts finally overcame 
our difficulties. And when our sexual relations were once established, 
the whole tenor of my life was changed. All the former sexual unrest 
disappeared. My former feeling toward sexual relations was altered. 
They no longer seemed that which, though very desirable, was yet 
necessarily indecent. Fortunately, after the first few weeks, they have 
been quite pleasurable to my wife. I am sure that our sexual life since 
marriage has been a large factor in deepening the love that has made 
our married life an ideal one. As I look back at the first year of 
marriage, I wonder that we got through it so well. My knowledge of 
sexual hygiene was a strange mixture of fact and nonsense. If the 
frequency of acts of intercourse advocated by some of the authorities I 
have lately read is correct, then we must have passed the bounds of 


moderation. But it is certain that our general health has been very- 
good: better in both eases than before marriage. 

"In reviewing these phases of the development of my sexual life, 
one or two conclusions seem to me to be strongly emphasized. It was 
unfortunate that the real sexual desire was aroused as early and in the 
manner that it was. Whether this would have been prevented by more 
definite education in the hygiene and the purpose of the function, I can 
only conjecture. I believe that mine was and is the common experience 
of boys. I am decidedly of the opinion that there should be instruction 
given of the anatomy of the genital organs and of the hygiene of inter- 
course, and this shortly after the youth has reached puberty. How this 
is to be done is a grave question. It will require tact and knowledge 
not possessed by the average teacher and parent. However it is done, 
it should be honest, frank, and free from piosity. 

"I am certain that, in my own case, rather frequent intercourse is 
decidedly beneficial. Any prolonged abstinence always brings about 
the same nervous disturbances that I have referred to above. It is fortu- 
nate for me that this repetition of the act is satisfactory to both 

Histoet XVIII. — E. W., dentist, aged 32, of New England Puritan 
stock. Height, 5 ft. 10^ in.; weight, 144 lbs. Spare and active, of 
nervobilious temperament. 

"My earliest recollection is being punished for 'playing with my- 
self when I could not have been more than 3 or 4 years of age. I 
distinctly remember my exultation on discovering that I could excite 
myself (while my hands were tied behind my back for punishment) by 
rubbing my small but erect penis against the carpet while lying on my 
stomach. At this time, of course, I knew nothing of sex or of what 
I was doing. I did what my desires and instincts at that time prompted 
me to do. However, punishments and lectures failed utterly to break 
up this habit, and, though I always wished and tried faithfully to obey 
my parents, I soon grew to indulge quietly in bed when I was thought 
to be asleep. The matter apparently passed out of the minds of my 
parents as soon as they ceased to detect me further in the act, and they 
regarded it as abandoned. I now feel reasonably certain that this 
precocity was due to an adherent foreskin which covered the glans 
tightly almost to the meatus, and so kept up a continual irritation. 

"I have no recollection that anyone ever taught me the habit, and 
I know beyond a, doubt that no one ever learned of the habit or even 
a word as to the possibility of autoexcitement through word or deed of 
mine. My recollection of the sensations is that there was a short period 
of excitation, usually by rubbing, which was not particularly, often not 
at all, pleasurable, arcd this was followed by a single thrill of pleasure 


that extended all over my little body. The curious thing ivas, however, 
that there seemed to be no limit to the number of times I could con- 
secutively produce this sensation. My recollection is perfectly clear of 
how I would lie in bed of a- morning and thus excite myself time after 
time. As I grew older this condition, of course, changed. Masturbation 
was not a consuming passion with me at this or any other time. I 
enjoyed it and felt that in it I had a means of entertainment when 
other sources of enjoyment were not at hand. 

"By the time I was 6 or 7 I had figured out the difference in sex 
in animals and suspected that 'all was not as it should be' in some 
portions of a girl's anatomy. This suspicion was suddenly confirmed 
one never-to-be-forgotten morning, when I induced my dearest play- 
mate, a little girl, to urinate in my presence. I was more thunder- 
struck than excited over this discovery, and it led to no results in any 
other way, nor did we ever again unveil ourselves to each other. At this 
time I began to learn from the older boys the pitiful, childish vulgari- 
ties and common terms of sex, and to invent and exchange rhymes and 
stories that were pathetic in their attempts at vulgarity. 

"At the age of 11 a buxom servantgirl threw out some vague hints 
to me, — I was very tall for my age, — and tried to induce me to take 
liberties with her, at least to the extent of telling her vulgar stories, but 
I would not rise to the lure. I believe that the thing which held me in 
check was fear of discovery by my parents and the consequent humilia- 
tion. A short time previous to this my father had enlightened me as 
to the means and manner of reproduction and had encouraged me to 
talk to him and to my mother on such subjects rather than with anyone 
else. I think this had a great influence for good, as it made me feel 
that I had some authoritative knowledge and that I was trusted by my 
parents. My determination not to prove entirely unworthy of their 
trust has been the anchor that has held through all the storms and 
temptations of youth and young manhood. 

"About the age of puberty I began to long for more realistic ex- 
periences and tried through a period of a, year or so the disgusting 
experiments of intercourse with animals, using hens and a cow for this 
purpose. Details are of no importance, and I spare myself their repeti- 
tion. My better nature or general mental development soon overcame 
my desires in this direction, and the practice was abandoned. 

"With the dawning of the power of emission I noticed that the 
adherent foreskin before alluded to, which had never been examined 
during all these years (as I had discovered that I was different from 
other boys and so was shy about exposing myself), began to trouble me 
by being painful during erections. Accordingly I took a buttonhook 
and tore all the adhesions loose. A very painful though ultimately 
entirely satisfactory operation! 


"(I may mention in this connection that my two sons were afflicted 
with adherent foreskins to such an extent as to render circumcision 
necessary a few days after birth, in order that the function of urination 
might become fully established.) 

"As my powers developed I had my first wet dream at about the 
age of 15, and was much surprised thereat. My father, however, told 
me not to be alarmed and soothed my anxious fears, which were easily 
aroused by my guilty feelings on account of my habit of masturbation, 
in which I still indulged from one to three times a week. 

"Between the ages of 12 and 17 my father had the good judgment 
to require a large amount of active outdoor labor from me, as well as 
sending me to excellent schools. Certain kinds of study had a distinct 
effect upon the sexual organs, namely, difficult Latin and German 
translations and problems in fractions. I considered at the time that 
it was because my mind wandered from the subject I was studying. 
Now I am perfectly sure it was because my mind focused on the subject 
I was studying. At any rate the fact existed, and when alone in my 
room, wrestling with a, knotty problem, I used almost as a rule to 
keep myself in the most violent state of erection for long periods — an 
hour or so — sometimes ending with an emission, but more often I forced 
myself to forego this climax through fear of overindulgence. During 
these years my curiosity as to the exact nature of the female organs 
was something terrible, and I wasted many hours and much ingenuity 
in the attempt to surreptitiously gratify it. My perseverance in the 
face of failure along this line was surely worthy of a nobler cause. 

"I was much in the society of girls of my own age or older during 
these years and until I was 19. I found with them » keen and entirely 
pure and wholesome enjoyment utterly separate and apart from the 
desires and indulgences which I have been describing. I never cared for 
any girl who was 'forward' or in any way unladylike, and the idea of 
taking any undue liberties with any of my youthful sweethearts was as 
remote from my thoughts as » trip to the moon. Perhaps I can say this 
better and more distinctly by stating that I would be perfectly willing 
to have my wife know of, or my boys repeat, any action that I ever took 
with any woman. 

"I spent my spare time in their society and lavished upon my girl 
companions every cent I could spare, but had no thought of immediate 
sex desire or gratification. At the age of 17 I went as an apprentice in 
my present profession of dentistry. Whenever it became necessary for 
me, in assisting at the operating chair, to touch a lady's hair or face, I 
would be seized with the utmost confusion and could with difficulty 
control my hands so that they did not tremble. This soon wore off as I 
came to a realization of the true professional spirit and attitude toward 


all patients, and, needless to say, has now become a matter of the utmost 
indifference to me. 

"From 19 to 22 I attended a professional school in a large city, 
remote from my home, where I was an utter stranger. During these 
years I devoted myself to my professional studies and to music with 
much diligence. I took an active part in all student life and problems 
save only that of the 'eternal feminine.' 

''Frequently I have been out with a crowd of 'the boys' when they 
headed for a brothel, and have been the only one to turn back or to 
remain on the sidewalk as the door closed behind my last companion. 
I »ay this not in self-praise, but in the same spirit of accuracy which 
has prompted me to put down everything concerning this greatest 
mystery of our natures as I have experienced it and worked it out. 

"It was during these three years at school that I placed upon 
myself the most stringent and effective curbs to my sex nature. I 
somehow never could 'get my own consent' to go to a brothel or stay 
with a 'soiled dove,' for I had by this time firmly resolved that I would 
bring to my wife, whoever she might turn out to be, a clean body at 
least. I limited myself in my autoexcitement to one emission a week 
and on one or two occasions went two weeks without inducing an 
emission. Spontaneous nocturnal emissions were quite common during 
these years. I cannot state just how frequent they were, but perhaps 
one a. week would be a fair average. 

"Shortly after graduation at the age of 22 I became engaged to the 
woman who is now my wife. (She was 17 at the time of our engage- 
ment, brunette, well developed, and with a wisdom and charm that have 
held me a willing captive for ten years and no prospect of escape! ) 

"With our engagement began for each of us that divine and 
mysterious unfolding of the nature of one to the nature of the other. 
Our engagement lasted two years and a half and, ignorant as we both 
were, I am sure that it was none too long. ZSTever shall I forget the 
surprise I felt — to say nothing of the delight — when I discovered that 
my sweetheart was as anxious to find out the uttermost facts about me 
as I was to explore the divine mystery of her sweet body. 

"We lived in different towns and I used to spend Sundays at her 
home. I slept in a room adjoining that occupied by my betrothed and 
a friend. There was a transom with clear glass over the door which 
connected these two rooms, and to have stood upon the foot of the bed 
and looked through this transom would have been the easiest thing in 
the world, and was such an opportunity as I would have given years of 
my life to have obtained in my adolescence; but now that the chance 
was afforded me to freely spy upon the chamber of my future bride mv 
soul revolted, for the feeling was upon me that not until it was revealed 


to me because she could no longer bear to keep it concealed from me 
would I look upon the blessed vision of her maiden loveliness. Nor was 
I disappointed, for gradually we became acquainted with each other's 
bodies, and this gradual unveiling of each to the other led, during the 
last months of our engagement, to mutual manual manipulations, ex- 
citement and gratification. Intercourse did not take place until the 
second night after our marriage, and our first baby was born nine 
months and three days after our marriage, though my wife was ten 
days past the cessation of her period at the time of my first entering. 

"Since marriage I have made it my first duty to study my wife's 
inclinations and desires with regard to our sexual relations, and can 
say that now, after seven years of married life, and after she has 
borne me two sons, we are enjoying a fullness of happiness that neither 
of us would have believed possible during the first year of our married 

"I have found that the woman must have the entire charge of the 
time and number of approaches in a week or month, and that when she 
is for any reason disinclined to the sexual act the husband must keep 
away, no matter how he feels about the matter. Also the man must be 
sure that his wife reaches the orgasm or is at the point of it before he 
allows himself to 'let go.' 

"Our meetings have averaged eight or nine a month. During the 
latter months of pregnancy they were nil, and in the month following 
an enforced separation of several weeks they were fourteen. We have 
never tried nor had the slightest curiosity to know how far we could 
indulge ourselves. 

"For myself I seem to demand a gratification of the sexual desire 
rather oftener than my wife, and when I feel I cannot get a good night's 
rest without first being relieved of my seminal burden, while at the 
same time my wife is disinclined to the sexual act, I have her perform 
manual manipulation until relief is effected. Mind, I say relief, for 
the emission gives me very little pleasure under these circumstances, but 
it does give relief. In my present health I find I cannot sleep well if I 
go over more than two nights without an emission. My wife under- 
stands my condition, and is entirely willing to assist me in this way 
when she feels she cannot give me the gratification which I crave. We 
have come to see sex matters as they are, and respect and reverence 
have taken the place of ignorance and fear. 

"To sum up, owing to lack of circumcision the sex instinct de- 
veloped too soon and out of all proportion during my early youth. I 
cannot see that masturbation has ever had the slightest bad effect upon 
my health or mental state (except as I was constantly loathing myself 
more or less for being unable to stop it) . 


'•The husband must subordinate himself to the wife in order to 
obtain the highest good and pleasure of both. 

"I have always been successful in my undertakings. Stood at the 
head ofTny class at school, and in my professional work graduated with 
highest honors. I have a memory for prose or verse that is the cause 
of envy to many of my friends. The facts here set down are recorded 
in the interest of advancing study along this most important but 
neglected and ignored line. That they have been truthfully recorded 
without favor to the black or light on the white is my sincere belief." 

History XIX. — E. B. Parents sound; strong constitution in 
mother, moderately so in father; vigorous and healthy, but of refined 
nature. Breast-milk for six months. 

"Age 4-5- Took great delight in the little waterworks. Severely 
punished for this. Interest in the parts morbidly increased thereby. 

"Age 5. Earliest recollection of 'counter-erection' — the penis shrink- 
ing tensely into itself, producing local and general discomfort. This 
resulted from certain kinds of mauvaise-honte, — having to kiss aged 
persons, having officious help at micturition, bathing, dressing, etc., 
which caused a sort of physical disgust. Toward puberty the experience 
grew rare. One such occasion was at about eighteen, when solicited on 
the street by a prostitute. The very idea of homosexual relations pro- 
duces it. It would appear to be a powerful safeguard against promis- 
cuous sex relations. I have met two men subject to the same thing, and 
have heard of one woman subject to something analogous. It might be 
called a nausea of the 'nether heart' in Georg Hirth's phrase. 

"Age 6-7. Earliest recollection of erection. Unprovoked at first. 
A disposition to punish the organ and satisfaction in doing so. Erom 
this .time erection took place whenever it was thought about. 

"Age 10. Present at a discussion in the playground about the 
best way of intercourse, which I heard of for the first time. This was fol- 
lowed by enlightenment on the source of children. Concluded it must 
be very painful to both parties. 'Just the other way,' I was told. But 
the idea of pain to the genitals was 'interesting' to me. Pain felt by 
the other sex was 'interesting.' Pained looks captivated me — I liked to 
imagine some mysterious trouble; and, as I learned more, 'female 
complaints' interested me greatly in their subjects. I got a 'grateful 
pang' at the pit of the stomach at the thought, but neither erection nor 
the opposite. This hypogastric feeling has continued to associate itself 
with certain sexual impressions. The thought of a woman mortifi/ing 
herself later on excited me sexually. Once, pulling a stay-string for 
fun (my wife never laced) gave me a powerful and quite unexpected 


"Age 12. A girl visitor of the same age got me talking about the 
genitals, and at bedtime came and proposed coitus. We failed to 
manage it. The vulva stripped back the foreskin, which was a volup- 
tuous feeling; then we were alarmed by something and separated. I 
never saw her again. She too liked to 'punish' her vulva. She put 
whole pepper in it, and advised me to use the same. I continued greatly- 
excited when she had gone ; the hand flew to the phallus and worried it, 
and orgasm came on at once — the childish orgasm consisting of well- 
spaced spasms of the ejaculators, without the poignant preliminary 
nisus of the adult orgasm. There was no reaction or depression, 
except that the phallus — which did not subside at once — was painful to 
touch. A week or so later I tried again, but failed. A month later, 
being more excited, I succeeded. I found that I could only compass it 
about once in three weeks. There were no emissions. I used to have 
a spontaneous mental image of a small Grecian temple in a sunny park, 
which charmed me, and I had no scruples. 

"Age 12-13. Masturbated once or twice a month. 

"Age 13-H. Was sent to a small public school, where it hap- 
pened that a very good tone prevailed. I learned that masturbation was 
bad form and unmanly. The proper thing was to save one's self up for 
women — at about 18. I dropped the practice easily, in spite of indulging 
my imagination about coitus. I thought of the initiation with prostitutes 
at 18, with the mixed feelings that even the most combative soldier must 
regard the fray. The hypogastric feeling above referred to would come 
on — which I liked and disliked at the same time. The first occasion on 
which I remember this feeling was when I got my first braces. Anything 
that harped on my sex produced it. Every time I received the sacra- 
ment, which I was forced to do very young, I repented of my intention 
of whoring at 18 — as » man 'must' do — and afterward I relapsed to 
the expectation. Religion was a great reality to me, but it did not pro- 
duce the radical effect that the development of the romantic sentiment did 
later on. (Both my wife and I became freethinkers at about 30.) 

"Age 15-11. Read poetry and romance. Conceived a high ideal 
of faithfulness and constancy. What a mockery all this loyalty is, I 
said to myself, if a man has stultified it beforehand. That was no 
mere castle-building. I had not understood what I was about in expect- 
ing to whore. The critical feelings were now awakening, and what they 
produced was revulsion against the abuse of sex, which got stronger 
every year. It became plain that there would be no whoring or the 
like for me; I was far too proud and fastidious. I neglected my tasks, 
which were uncongenial, and read a great deal of anatomy and physiol- 
ogy, which stood me in good stead later. As I rose in the school I was 
surprised to find the tone worse, but quite at the top it was better 



again, and with my latest companions sex was never even mentioned. At 
14 I had a friend who importuned me to come into his bed, but X never 
would get under his bedclothes, for the male sex repels me powerfully 
in personal contact; he began to talk of masturbation, and now I can 
understand what he was aiming at. But my day-dreams of nymphs and 
dryads kept me in a, state of perpetual tension, and erection was very 
frequent. The early morbid admiration of delicate women became 
replaced by admiration of health and strength combined with grace. 

"Age 17-18. I was given a cubicle in which my neighbor on the 
right masturbated noisily two or three times a week, and the one on 
the left every night, using intermittent friction to drag it out longer. 
One night, kneeling at my bedside, saying prayers, my attention was 
divided between these and the occupation of my neighbor, when, after 
not having masturbated for four years, — the critical years of develop- 
ment, — the hand flew to the phallus and 

•pulses pounding through palms and trembling encircling fingers' 
procured, in Walt Whitman's language, 

'the wholesome relief, — repose, content.' 

"I slept well and had a sense of elation at the proof of manhood, 
for we boys were anxious about whether we secreted semen or not. The 
sexual obsession was tempered, and about three weeks later I had my 
first 'pollution' — the 'angel of the night,' as Mantegazza with better 
sense calls it. From that time on I had pollutions every two or three 
weeks, with dreams sometimes of masturbation or of nymphs, or quite 
irrelevant matters. For a time these gave me perfect relief; then my 
'dilectatio morosa' began to grow again, and the phallus would become 
so sensitive that working about on the belly would liberate the orgasm. 

"Age 1S-19. I had kept on persuading myself I was not masturbat- 
ing — avoiding the use of the hand — but now I dropped this pretense, 
and frankly conceded the need to myself. I got done with it in a 
peremptory wily and thought no more of it. I had no evil effects, moral 
or physical, and my mother would often compliment me on my bright 
appearance the morning after. At that time the appetite matured 
every seven to ten days, and, though I dreaded the idea of slavery to it, 
it would have been very hard to forego it. Headaches, which had begun 
to plague me from puberty on, grew rarer. Pollutions occurred in be- 
tween, but were less effectual. I had up to this point accepted the 
incidental pleasure under a sort of protest; but now I got over that 
too and I allowed what I would prefer to call an idio-erotism (rather 
than an auto-erotism) its way, always picturing beautiful nymphs to 
myself. Surroundings of natural beauty moved me to this kind 
of reverie, partly perhaps because I had once secretly observed a lad 


basking naked on the sandy beach and toying with himself. The recol- 
lection is wholly unsullied to me. Happening on one occasion to check 
the stimulation about two-thirds way to orgasm, I experienced a, minia- 
ture orgasm like the childish one, but with no declension of the tumes- 
cence, and I was able to repeat this maneuver several times before the 
full orgasm. This I later practised in Coitus prolongatus — giving the 
partner time to come up. I had already got into the way of poising 
the feeling on its climax. The ejaculator reflex, being habituated to this,, 
seems to set in with its throbs when the maneuver is simulated, though 
no semen has yet been poured into the bulbous portion for the ejaculators 
to act upon. If this play be broken off before the critical spasm — as in 
the American 'Karezza,' etc. — there is no perceptible reaction, though an 
unsatisfied feeling remains. But when the act proceeds to emission and 
the poignant undercurrent of feeling sets in that ushers the ejaculation 
and may only last two to five seconds, it makes all the difference, and 
constitutional signs appear — perspiration, etc. This leads to the question 
whether the critical sensation specially involves the sympathetic nervous, 
system? Up to that point the process is under control, but then auto- 

''An observation of practical importance to me at that time was; 
this: I awoke in the morning after a pollution at night, with an acute 
headache of a specific kind, and erection. This had happened before,, 
after pollution, and the erection suggested to me whether 'a hair of the- 
dog that bit me' might not prove beneficial. As the excitation pro- 
ceeded, the pain in the head was directly drained away, as if I were 
drawing it out. Other pain is also relieved for the moment, such as 
neuralgia, but to return soon with interest. This, however, was specific 
and pure benefit. The next time I got a bad headache of this character, 
without preceding pollution, I tried the remedy, at about 10 a.m. The 
semen was copious and watery, and the relief was marked, but in an 
hour's time the headache returned. I had never repeated the act at 
short interval, i.e., while the organs were under the influence of a 
previous act, and now I tried the effect of that. The second emission 
was also profuse, but much thicker, and the relief much greater. In 
about three hours the headache was, however, again intolerable, and, the 
connection being now clear, I ventured on a third act, which proved 
to be the most voluptuous I had so far experienced, the nisus being far 
more intense. The semen was copious, but thick and ropy, with lumps 
as large as small peas that could scarcely be crushed with the 
finger, and yellow in color and rank in odor. After that I was per- 
fectly well and kept so. (The urethra was blocked so that I could with 
difficulty stroke the masses out.) Later I have examined such semen 
microscopically and found the spermatozoa dead and disintegrating. My 


period in my best years — 21 to 48 — was twice a week, the odd number 
being an inconvenience, and I have since endeavored to avoid accumula- 
tions, emptying the receptacles on the fourth day, when I remem- 
bered the interval, even if the organs did not remind me. On the fifth 
day headache would otherwise appear and perhaps two acts be needful, 
or, if I forgot about it for a week, three acts running. That I did not 
abuse the function the fact proves that every year I would forget about 
it two to three times and have to resort to this drastic mode.l But 
there is quite a different headache that follows on indulgence during 
convalescence or when the system is otherwise much lowered. Railway 
traveling greatly accentuates the need with me; also riding.- Girls 
aroused no physical desire, though I chiefly sought their society, and 
even after the genital tension was so pronounced, up to 20, I was troubled 
by the fact that women did not affect me sexually. About this time a 
buxom girl I liked and who liked me vehemently laid her hand on my 
arm, in trying to persuade me to give up shooting. The phallus leaped 
simultaneously. That was my first sexual experience — the proof that the 
■iwxus was established between the genital mechanism and the complex 
of feeling we call sexual. 

"Age ,?}. At this age I went to stay at a, house where there were 
two very pretty girls. I at once lost my heart to the elder, L. B., as she 
did to me (strong constitution, but refined nature; parents sound; 
brought up in the country ; eleven months' breast-milk ) . 'What a mother 
she will make,' I said to myself. Now began n time of the spiritual and 
physical communion that I had pictured to myself. 

"I am 60 now; she is 57. We are still like lovers. No; not like 
lovers; we are lovers. Of course, I do not mean to imply that sexual im- 
pressions have preponderated in our life, as they do in this account. Quite 
the contrary.' We are both strong and, according to all accounts, un- 
usually well preserved. We are very temperate. Since 48 I notice a 
gradual decline of the erotic propensity. It is now once in five or seven 

i "A practical question arising out of the foregoing is whether 
such semen should be committed to the vagina? Its presence is 
known to me by constitutional symptoms (toxic). It is the last to be 
expelled, and its degenerate germ-cells have no chance against those of 
the normal fluid deposited in preceding acts, supposing that to be re- 
tained. But it may well happen that the prior emissions only reach 
the pouch, whereas the last is injected into the womb itself. I have 
frequently had the sense of the orifices of meatus and cervix matching 
directly, especially when she had powerful orgasm (including two con- 
ceptions ) , and of the semen being sucked from me rather than occluded 
in its exit, as also happens, requiring me to relax the urge a little. At 
18 to 19 the semen of a 'pollution' has left tender red patches where it 
dried on the neighboring skin, and deep straw-colored stains in the 


days. Since the menopause her propensity has declined markedly, but 
it ia not extinct, and she delights as much as ever in my delight. She 
began to menstruate at 12, was regular till 17; then got chlorotic for a 
few months, soon recovered, though menstruation was often irregular, 
but never painful. Sexual experience began at 25. I have often 
wondered if a moderate self-gymnastic of the faculty, in Venturi's sense, 
would not have educated her genital sphere, and made her a still better 
comrade — excluded the periods of irregularity and frigidity. The stage 
of latency was too protracted. We often noticed that, when menstruation 
was due or nearly so, prolonged love-sports at bedtime would be followed 
by menstruation in the morning. We never were separated for longer 
than three months, and on that occasion, menstruation being delayed, 
she tried what masturbation would do to determine it, and with a, posi- 
tive result. My need, though less, is as imperative as ever. Seminal 
headaches — as I would call them — have ceased since 50; the accumula- 
tion only produces muddleheadedness. But I have not suffered accumula- 
tion over ten to at most twelve days. The quantity of semen is also 
less. The sensibility of the corpora has declined much; that of the 
glans is unimpaired. Erection is good. Orgasm takes two to four 
minutes to provoke, against forty to fifty seconds when young; it is 
in some respects even more enjoyable — perhaps less intense, but much 
more prolonged. I have no reaction from indulgence. But I never press 
it; it always presses me. For overaccumulation, with headache or 
muddleheadedness, the wifely hand is more efficacious than the vulva. 
Even the most vivid dream of coitus fails to compass the orgasm now. 
The peripheral stimulus is essential. 

"In our case physical and psychical intensity of emotion have gone 
hand in hand. I have become specialized to one woman, despite an 
erotic endowment certainly not meager. The pervasive fragrance makes: 
one adore the whole sex, but my wife does not interpret this homage in a 
sexually promiscuous sense. We both agree in the principle that if one 
cannot hold the affection of the other there is no title to it. Tarde says; 
that constancy in love is rarely anything but a voyage of discovery round 
the beloved object. I am perpetually making fresh discoveries. But her 
constancy, I mean the high level of her passion, is independent of 


Abu-1-Feraj, 197. 

Acton, W., 194. 

Adler, 0., 11, 95, 196, 204, 205, 

206, 241. 
Adlerz, 275. 
Aguilaniedo, 152. 
Aldrich, 38. 
Allen, G. W., 97. 
Alonzi, 87. 
Aly-Belfadel, 238. 
Amand, St., 198, 230. 
Andrews, W., 134. 
Angell, 153. 
Arndt, R., 243. 
Avebury, Lord, 259, 265. 

Bach, G., 127. 
Baker, Smith, 241. 
Ballet, 180. 
Balls-Headley, 231.